Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda has handed over his resignation to Governor Syed Sibtey Razi at 6.30 pm on Saturday, admitting that he was not confident of facing the trust vote in the 81-member Assembly on Sunday.
Koda was accompanied by five independent ministers - Stephen Marandi, Bhanu Pratap Shahi, Harinarain Rai, Chanraprakash Chowdhary and Joba Manjhi - to Raj Bhawan.
Koda, meanwhile, turned down the UPA leadership's advice to take over as the state UPA chairperson. He said, “There is no point in accepting the post. Now it is up to Guruji (Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Sibu Soren) to see whether he can secure a majority.”
Asked whether he and his colleagues would help Soren shore up the numbers, Koda said, “It is for him to get the numbers. I am sure, he will face a lot of problems. We have decided to preserve ourselves as a political group and will approach people sooner.”
Soren, who returned from New Delhi in the evening, said he would meet the Governor on Sunday. He said he was confident of passing the trial of strength. Soren may swear in on Sunday, deferring the trust vote for some time.
Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said in New Delhi that his party would support Soren. He said he would also try to bring Koda back in the UPA fold.
Soren had once been the chief minister when Razi invited the UPA to form government in February 2005, and the independents had chosen to support it. But Soren's government fell in nine days, paving the way for Arjun Munda to return for a second term.
Interestingly, Koda set a record as the longest-serving non-party chief minister in India, with 23 months and five days in office, surpassing FA Khonglam of Meghalaya, who ruled as a non-party CM for 15 months.