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Koda inducts 3 more ministers

india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 00:34 IST
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Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda on Sunday inducted three more ministers in his UPA ministry but his bid to give a cabinet berth to controversial MLA Bhanu Pratap Sahi, who has three warrants of arrests against him, was rebuffed by Governor Syed Sibtey Razi.

The Governor administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers - independent MLA Stephen Marandi, All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) MLA Chandraprakash Choudhury and JMM MLA Dulal Bhuyan.

He, however, refused to include Sahi despite Koda's verbal recommendation to induct him along with three ministers.

"The Chief Minister gave a list to the Governor recommending three ministers for swearing-in and verbally requested him to consider Sahi since his name figured in September 24 expansion list", a Raj Bhavan communiqué said.

The Governor, it added, informed Koda that he had on the same day (September 24) despatched a letter to the state government seeking the factual position on Sahi who did not turn up to take oath. As the Governor was yet to get a reply to his query, he did not consider Sahi, the communiqué said.

Sahi has three warrants of arrest pending against him, official sources said.

Commenting on his next expansion to include one more member in his cabinet, which can accommodate 12 members, the Chief Minister told newsmen that the final expansion would be carried out very soon.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister managed to enlist the support of one of two MLAs of All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) by including Chandraprakash Choudhury in his ministry.

"He is an old friend of mine. He works very well and he sought to support UPA. So we have included him", Koda said. With Choudhury coming to UPA-fold, Koda now has the support of 43 MLAs in the 82-member house.

The AJSU President Sudesh Mahto, MLA and Choudhruy had been ministers in the previous BJP-led NDA cabinet.

The duo was also instrumental in the formation of the erstwhile group of five in which Koda, Enos Ekka and Harinarain Rai were also members.

The Chief Minister also got a shot in the arm when Independent MLA Stephen Marandi relented from his rigid stand that he should be allowed to take the Speaker's post since he is the senior most MLA in UPA.

JPCC President and officiating Speaker Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu said, as Marandi has become a minister, decks were clear for Congress to nominate a candidate to the Speaker's post.

"I am going to Delhi on Monday to decide a suitable candidate for the post", Balmachu told newsmen.

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