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Jharkhand CM Koda may quit if Sonia asks him to

August 22, 2008 14:52 IST
Last Updated: August 22, 2008 15:42 IST

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Beleaguered Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda on Friday said heĀ is willing to consider resigning from the post if asked by Congress President Sonia Gandhi [Images].

Koda is in New Delhi [Images] following summons from UPA central leadership amid speculation of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha president Shibu Soren inching towards his goal to replace him.

Accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Stephen Marandi, Koda told media persons that he will have discussions with UPA leaders on the crisis triggered by JMM with 17 legislators withdrawing support to him on August 17.

Koda, scheduled to face a trial of strength in a special session of the assembly on August 25, had been insisting on a meeting of the UPA to sort out the differences instead of airing views here and there. The chief minister added that he would place his views to them of his performance in past two years, which he thought would justify his claim to complete the tenure.

Meanwhile, the JMM president, who was already in Delhi to lobby hard to oust Koda, on Thursday met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other leaders.

Congress in-charge of the state Ajay Maken said the party had no problem if Soren became the chief minister. But Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad was still playing his cards close to his chest.

Soren had on Thursday claimed to have the support of the RJD following a meeting with Lalu. However, the latter denied having met Soren.

The JMM's arithmatic to gain power apparently depends on support from Congress (7), RJD (9), BJP dissidents (2), Independent ministers (7) excluding Koda and Stephen Marandi besides the party's own strength of 17 that put its tally at 42 in the House of 82.

One seat is vacant, caused by the death of Tamar legislator Ramesh Singh Munda (JD-U), who was assassinated by Maoists last month.

Besides support from the RJD and Congress, Soren is trying to rope in Independent ministers. However, many of them are reluctant to see a change of leadership right now.

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