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Marandi begins 24-hr fast amid speculation of resignation

Written by: Staff

Ranchi, May 17 (UNI) The BJP-led NDA government in Jharkhand faced a piquant situation when party's national vice-president Babulal Marandi sat on a 24-hour fast to protest the Arjun Munda-led dispensation's ''failure'' to contain extremism in the state.

The former Jharkhand Chief Minister began the fast at Setwand in Giridih district.

Sources from Giridih said the BJP stalwart began the fast at 1000 hours along with his local supporters amid speculations that he might resign from the national vice-president's post.

On the other hand, Chief Minister Arjun Munda today asserted there was no threat to his government in the wake of his predecessor's threat to launch a new political outfit, if compelled to do so.

An adamant Mr Marandi, who could not be pacified by national general secretary Sanjay Joshi during his one-day visit here, dismissed speculations of his resignation by merely by saying that his strategies would unfold at the appropriate time.

Mr Marandi's decision to go ahead with his stir apparently embarrassed the central leadership.

Mr Joshi, who returned to New Delhi last evening after gathering inputs from different levels of the party hierarchy, told reporters here that he would talk to the agitating leader.

The central emissary was understood to have prepared a report on the issue and the defiant leader might be given another chance.

Meanwhile, a section of the state unit had called for ouster of Mr Marandi on disciplinary grounds.

Reports said a second round of talks between senior central party leaders and Mr Marandi was being contemplated to avert a major crisis.


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