Koda to make next move after discussion with Independents

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Ranchi, Aug 23 (UNI) Keeping suspense alive about his next move, Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda today said he would hold meetings with Independent legilators before disclosing his final decision.

Mr Koda this afternoon returned from New Delhi after having parleys with senior UPA leaders, including chairperson Sonia Gandhi, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and some other bigwigs in the Congress, in which the Chief Minister is understood to have been advised to resign paving way for JMM chief Shibu Soren to take the rein.

Though, it was not made public what transpired during his confabulations with the leaders in Delhi, sources close to the Koda camp here said the discussion mainly centred around modalities on how Mr Koda could be accomodated after Mr Soren took over.

Since Mr Koda's visit to Delhi yesterday, speculations were rife about the timing of his resignation.

Governor Syed Sibtey Razi gave consent for the special session of the Assembly to be held on August 25 as Mr Koda was scheduled to prove his majority on the floor.

The JMM's arithmatic to gain power apparently depended on the support from 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 that 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.


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