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4 ministers jump off Munda?s sinking ship

india Updated: Sep 06, 2006 01:26 IST
HT Bureau
HT Bureau

IN TERMS of numbers in the Jharkhand Assembly, the 17-month-old NDA government led by Chief Minister Arjun Munda has already been buried under the rebel assault.

Four senior ministers gave their resignations to the Governor Syed Sibtey Razi at 7.30 pm on Tuesday, reducing the 43-member NDA to 39 in the 82-member house.

Three of the ministers are part of the NDA's group of five Independent MLAs, who have not let the government rest easy with their constant demands on the NDA regime.

Governor Razi confirmed receiving their resignations and said he would set up the date for the test of strength after consulting all the parties.

The UPA was ready to lay claim to form the Jharkhand government on Tuesday itself, rallying around Jagannathpur MLA and former RSS and BJP leader Madhu Koda as the popular choice for chief minister.

However, the chief of JMM, a prominent constituent of the UPA, and Coal Minister Sibu Soren, however, said the UPA still needed to formally name the new chief minister.

Soren and the three rebel ministers - Enos Ekka, Harinarain Rai and Madhu Koda, arrived here at around 6.30 pm by a chartered flight from New Delhi to meet Governor Razi. Tuesday turned out to be a fast-paced day full of action.

Chief Minister Arjun Munda left for New Delhi, ostensibly for the Prime Minister's conference on terror. However, his visit had more to do with the summons of the BJP crisis group to discuss the Jharkhand situation at the residence of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

More than the three rebel ministers, it was the Water Resources Minister, Kamlesh Singh, who finally engineered the fall of the government.