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22 BJP MLAs quit House

All the 22 MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jharkhand on Wednesday resigned from the assembly to press for the immediate dissolution of the House and early elections in the state.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2009 01:38 IST
Madan Kumar

All the 22 MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jharkhand on Wednesday resigned from the assembly to press for the immediate dissolution of the House and early elections in the state.

Jharkhand is under President’s Rule since January 19 this year and the assembly under “suspended animation” since then.

Following the resignations, including that of one nominated Anglo-Indian legislator, the number of members in the House has been reduced to 42 from its full strength of 82. A total of 18 seats were already vacant because 10 members had earlier resigned, seven had been disqualified and one had died.

Led by the president of the Jharkhand unit of the BJP, Raghubar Das, and Lok Sabha MPs Yashwant Sinha and Arjun Munda, the 22 BJP MLAs went to the assembly and submitted their resignations to Speaker Alamgir Alam.

The delegation had earlier called on Governor K. Sankaranarayanan and submitted to him a memorandum urging him to dissolve the House immediately and ask the Centre and the Election Commission to hold early polls in the state.

Raghubar Das submitted copies of the resignation letters to the governor and requested him to forward them to the Speaker.

Das told the governor that the Election Commission could not begin the process of holding polls in the state unless the assembly was dissolved.

“No political party or group, including the Congress, is in a position to form the government. Hence, the assembly should be dissolved to pave the way for holding elections,” Das told the governor.

The state came under President’s rule after Jharkhand Mukti Morcha President Sibu Soren quit as chief minister following his defeat in the Tamar bypoll, which he had contested to enter the assembly.

The strength of the BJP, which had won 30 seats in the 2005 elections, was reduced to 22 following resignations, disqualifications and defeats in assembly bypolls.