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Jharkhand: JMM to pull out from Koda govt
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August 16, 2008 21:43 IST

In a day marked by significant political developments in Jharkhand, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha on Saturday said it would withdraw support to the Madhu Koda government on Sunday if the chief minister did not resign.

Meanwhile, the state governor has allowed party chief Sibu Soren's request for an appointment.

"If Koda does not resign today, we will withdraw support to his government on Sunday," JMM secretary Dilip Chatterjee told PTI.

The JMM has convened a crucial meeting of the party's central committee and legislature party on Sunday where a formal decision of withdrawal would be made, Chatterjee said.

Soren is scheduled to call on Governor Syed Sibtey Razi after the party meeting as Razi has allowed his request for an appointment at 7 pm, Raj Bhavan sources said.

Meanwhile, the JMM has issued a whip asking all its 17 MLAs to be present at meeting, amidst speculation that some JMM MLAs might abstain from the meeting.

"The whip has been issued to ensure that every one gives his or her view and listens to others," Soren's son and the party's students wing leader Hemant said.

"Anything can be possible in politics," Hemant said about the outcome of Sunday's meetings.

Earlier on August 12, Soren threatened to withdraw support to the UPA coalition in Jharkhand if incumbent Madhu Koda did not quit soon. Koda ignored the quit call as several independent ministers rallied behind him. They said there was no need for any leadership change.

Ever since Koda toppled the Arjun Munda government in September, 2006, his government is surviving with a wafer thin majority of 42 MLAs in the 82-member house, including a vacant seat.

The 17-member JMM legislative party, including three ministers, is supporting the UPA coalition from within while the Congress (nine MLAs) and the RJD (seven) backing Koda from outside. The nine other MLAs are from other small parties or Independents.

Meanwhile, the BJP which has 29 members in the assembly remained non-committal on whether it would try to form a government in Jharkhand on its own or back the JMM.

"We would not like to reply to hypothetical questions. We will reply only after getting a clear political situation," former chief minister Arjun Munda told media persons when asked about the role of his party.

Munda later left for Delhi [Images], probably to meet the party's central leadership on the political situation in Jharkhand.

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