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Jharkhand: Mystery of missing MLAs
March 10, 2005 20:36 IST
A day ahead of the crucial floor test in Jharkhand assembly, Nationalist Congress Party said on Thursday that it was unable to find out the whereabouts of its MLA, Kamlesh Singh.
He expressed the fear that he might have been kidnapped by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
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NCP general secretary Tariq Anwar told PTI that he was trying to locate Singh but his efforts had so far not yielded any results.
Singh, who did not turn up to take oath as a member in the state assembly on Thursday, "might have been kidnapped by BJP", he alleged, adding that there were reports about him that he was "hobnobbing" with BJP leaders.
Anwar said he had been offered a huge amount by the rivals to support them during confidence vote.
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Singh may come to the House shortly before the vote of confidence is taken up, Anwar said.
Meanwhile, the United Progressive Alliance too was worried about the absence of three MLAs, including a minister, just a day before the confidence vote.
Apart from Kamlesh Singh, the other missing MLAs are Bhanu Pratap Shahi and Arpana Sen from the Forward Bloc.
A total of 77 MLAs in the 81-member House took oath in the first sitting after the elections, but pro-tem speaker Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu added a new twist to the political drama by serving a notice under the anti-defection law to Enos Ekka of the Jharkhand Party.
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Both the BJP and the UPA has listed Ekka as one of their supporters.
Jharkhand party had complained that he had supported the NDA against its directive.
While the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance claims the support of 41 MLAs, the ruling UPA's strength of 40 has been reduced by one after the appointment of Balmuchu as pro-tem speaker who can vote only in case of a tie.
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UPA's efforts to raise its strength by nominating an Anglo-Indian representative to the House were thwarted by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Amidst reports that two Forward Block MLAs were in the NDA camp, their party leadership said they would take oath on Friday and support the chief minister in the confidence vote.
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