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Arjun Munda resigns : Parleys on for new Chief Minister

Written by: Staff

Ranchi, Sep 14 (UNI) Ending nine days of political uncertainty, Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda today resigned without facing a vote of confidence in the state assembly after his government was reduced to a minority in the wake of the resignations of four of his ministers even as the Opposition UPA is busy in discussions over its Chief Ministerial candidate.

Union Coal Minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) supremo Shibu Soren told reporters here the name of the Chief Ministerial candidate would be announced after a meeting of the UPA partners and claimed that it would be a consensus one.

The meeting began after the brief extended monsoon session in presence of Railway Minster Lalu Prasad, Union Food Processing Minister Subodh Kant Sahay, Ms Noor Banu (Cong), in-charge of Jharkhand, Rajya Sabha member from the state Mebel Rebello and other senior leaders.

Mr Soren said the UPA would stake claim to form the government after the resignation of Mr Munda was accepted by Governor Syed Sibtey Razi.

Mr Madhu Koda, whose name as the Chief Ministerial candidate was announced yesterday by the Railway Minister, today said the matter would be decided in the UPA meeting.

As the extended monsoon session began at 1100 hrs to take up the floor test for Mr Munda, the Chief Minister, after a speech in which he spoke about some of the developmental projects initiated by his government as also on coalition politics, announced his decision to resign.

Mr Munda after announcing to resign in the House rushed to Raj Bhawan and put in his paper to Governor Syed Sibtey Razi.

The 18-month-old BJP-led NDA government in the state was reduced to a minority after the resignations of the four ministers on September 5. The rebel Ministers - Mr Kamlesh Singh(NCP) and Mr Harinarain Rai, Mr Madhu Koda and Mr Anos Ekka (All Independents) - joined the Opposition UPA, taking its tally to 43 in the 82-member House.

In the outgoing Munda-led NDA government, there were 39 members against the Opposition UPA's tally of 43.

Earlier in the morning, the Speaker reserved his verdict on three Legislators - Mr Enos Ekka, Mr Kamlesh Singh and Mr Stephen Marandi - facing disqualification charges, and allowed them to vote in the trust motion.

The NDA now comprises BJP (30), JD-U (6) including the Speaker, AJSU (2) and Nominated (1).

The UPA consists of JMM (17), Cong (9), RJD (7), UGDP (2), Forward Bloc (2), including the expelled MLA from the party, CPI-ML (1), Independent (1) and four rebel Ministers from the NDA.


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