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Munda to discuss Cabinet with NDA leadership

March 17, 2005 18:38 IST

Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda on Thursday left for New Delhi to meet the central leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its ally the Janata Dal (United) to discuss the expansion of his ministry.

Sources at the CM's residence said Munda would go to Kolkata by helicopter on way to the capital.

In keeping with the 91st amendment of the Constitution, Munda will have to restrict the size of his Cabinet to 12 ministers, including himself.

When he took the oath of office on March 12, he inducted all five Independents supporting the National Democratic Alliance into his ministry, leaving only six berths for NDA constituents.

Political observers say Nationalist Congress Party legislator Kamlesh Singh and United Goans Democratic Party's Joba Manjhi, who remained absent during the vote of confidence on March 15, thus helping Munda to easily sail through the floor test, are also likely to be inducted into the ministry.

Both Manjhi and Singh, however, are silent on the issue.

NDA sources said the next session of the Assembly would be convened after Holi, 'possibly on March 28 and 29', for passing the vote-on-account.

Meanwhile, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief and former chief minister of Jharkhand Shibu Soren has also left for Delhi to meet President A P J Abdul Kalam to demand the dismissal of the Arjun Munda government.

"Guruji (Soren) is leaving for Delhi today [Thursday] by a regular service flight. The President has given him an appointment tomorrow [Friday]," Rashtriya Janata Dal state unit chief Girinath Singh told PTI.

"During the meeting, Soren, along with a UPA [United Progressive Alliance] delegation, including alliance coordinator Stephen Marandi, will apprise the President about how the NDA usurped power in the state by horse-trading and engineering defections," Singh, who was parliamentary affairs minister in the nine day-old Soren government, said.

He said the UPA delegates had already left for Delhi on Wednesday by train.

Complete Coverage: Assembly Elections 2005

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