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Jharkhand minister resigns

April 10, 2005 20:25 IST

Succumbing to 'pressure' of some party members of Legislative Assembly, Janata Dal (United) leader and Jharkhand Drinking and Sanitation Minister Radha Krishna Kishore on Sunday resigned from the government.

"What I understand from media reports [is that] some of my party colleagues are at pain following my continuation in the ministry. I have submitted my resignation to the chief minister because I don't want him to be in a quandary over the matter," Kishore told newspersons in Ranchi.

Kishore's action came in the wake of resentment among a section of the party, supported by the national leadership, over his inclusion in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance during the Cabinet expansion on March 29.

The JD (U) leadership accused Arjun Munda of including Kishore in place of the candidates recommended by it. The JD(U) had recommended the names of Jaleswar Mahto and Welfare Minister Ramesh Singh Munda.

Senior JD (U) leader Digvijay Singh recently said the party regretted the non-inclusion of Mahto. He also suggested that a vacant slot in the ministry be given to Mahto.

Ramesh Singh Munda, who is also the JD (U) legislature party leader, has pledged not to take ministerial charge till Mahto is accommodated.

Though he had earlier issued a veiled threat to quit from the assembly membership if he was dropped from the Cabinet to accommodate Mahto, Kishore said he was not for any ministerial post, but his departure would mean there was no representation of the scheduled caste in the ministry.

"So I request the party to consider party MLA Kameshwar Das the next choice to give representation to the SC," he said.

The NDA government, comprising the BJP, JD (U) and the independents, has a wafer-thin majority, having 41 MLAs (excluding the speaker). The opposition, United Progressive Alliance, has 39 legislators in the 81-member house.

Meanwhile, the Jharkhand high court would hear a petition filed by Alfred George de Rozario, whom the UPA had recommended as its Anglo-Indian nominee for the assembly when Shibu Soren was the chief minister.

Rozario has challenged the NDA's decision to replace his nomination with that of Joseph Gaulstone.

Justice M Y Iqbal posted the matter till April 21, the next date of hearing.

Also read:

Jharkhand drama had no heroes


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