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BJP to form coordination committee in Jharkhand

August 25, 2005 17:54 IST

Bowing to the pressure of dissident non-Bharatiya Janata Party ministers in Jharkhand, BJP on Thursday agreed to form a coordination committee for better understanding between the independent legislators and the saffron party.

The decision came at a meeting of the party's state unit core committee with BJP general secretary in-charge of Jharkhand, Rajnath Singh and the party's organisation secretary, Sanjay Joshi. Chief Minister Arjun Munda and state unit BJP president Yadunath Pandey were also present at the meeting.

"We have decided that a coordination committee would be formed. Its shape would be decided through discussions (with independent ministers), Singh said after the meeting, which came hours before the dissidents and party MLAs were to meet BJP president Lal Kishenchand Advani.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government in the state is hinged on the support of five independent MLAs who have been made ministers. Singh and Joshi held separate discussions with Munda, Pandey and 10 MLAs, including ministers Pradeep Yadav and Raghuvar Das.

Munda, whose style of functioning has come under attack from the independent ministers, said "I have no objection in formation of the Coordination Committee." Asked whether a common minimum programme would also be chalked out, he said, "We can discuss it."

Singh declined to comment when asked whether the issue of leadership change came up at the meeting. A delegation led by Jharkhand's minister of state for home Sudesh Mahto and Mines Minister Madhu Kora have been camping in the capital for the last few days and meeting several BJP leaders.

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