Koda resigns, but vows not to support Shibu Soren

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Ranchi, Aug 23 (UNI) Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda today submitted his resignation to Governor Syed Sibtey Razi but made it clear that the Independent MLAs would not support JMM supremo Shibu Soren, whose party had withdrawn support to his government, at any cost.

Mr Koda, accompanied by the Independents - Mr Stephen Marandi, Ms Joba Majhi, Mr Chandra Prakash Chaudhuri, Mr Bhanu Pratap Shahi and Mr Harinarayan Rai (all Ministers) - went to the Raj Bhavan at 1830 hrs and handed over their resignation letters to the Governor.

Mr Koda later told reporters that the Independent MLAs would not back Mr Soren, whose party, with a strength 17 MLAs, withdrew support to his UPA Government on August 17.

On his return from New Delhi this afternoon, the Chief Minister held a meeting with Independent MLAs before proceeding to the Raj Bhavan to put in his papers.

Significantly, Mr Koda, whose government was reduced to a minority after the JMM withdrew support on August 17, was supposed to go for a trial of strength on August 25 in a special session of the Assembly.

The JMM president waged a war against the Koda-led UPA government and has now staked claim to the Chief Ministerial post, claiming to have the support of the Congress and the RJD.

The JMM's arithmetic to gain power apparently depended on support from the Congress (7), RJD (9), BJP dissidents (2), Independent Ministers (7), excluding Mr Koda and Mr Stephen Marandi, besides the party's own strength of 17 which totalled 42 in the House of 82, including one vacant seat caused by the death of Tamar Legislator Ramesh Singh Munda (JD-U), who was murdered by Maoists last month.

Besides the support from the RJD and the Congress, Mr Soren was trying to rope in Independent Ministers but many of them were still reluctant to see a change of leadership in the state.


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