MADHU KODA, an independent MLA, will be the new chief minister of Jharkhand. On Thursday, he met Governor Syed Sibtey Razi and staked his claim to form the new government after the fall of the Arjun Munda-led NDA ministry.
Koda's choice as the leader of the UPA came after a meeting of UPA legislators presided over by RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his JMM counterpart Sibu Soren. He will be sworn in on September 17.
Earlier, with defeat staring him in the face following the withdrawal of support by four MLAs, including Koda, Chief Minister Arjun Munda announced his resignation in the assembly -- without facing the scheduled floor test.
"Numbers have a very significant role in democracy and I, at the moment, lack the required numbers," Munda said in the assembly. "Hence, I am going to give my resignation to the governor."
Munda's resignation became inevitable after Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari allowed the pro-UPA MLAs facing a disqualification threat to vote during
the floor test. This left the NDA with 38 legislators and the UPA with 43. Namdhari, too, resigned from his post on Thursday.
In a letter to the governor, Chief Minister Munda said he had been nominated for the post by the NDA and it was his moral duty to relinquish the post following the fall of the government. Koda, who along with independent MLAs and cabinet colleagues, Enos Ekka and Harinarayan Rai, and Kamlesh Singh (NCP) had withdrawn support to Munda's government on September 5, said he presented the governor with a list of 41 MLAs.
Koda also told the Governolr that he had the support of Forward Bloc MLA Aparna Sen and CPI-ML (Liberation) legislator Vinod Kumar Singh as well.
Koda will be the third independent MLA to assume the office of chief minister after Bishwanath Das in Orissa in 1971 and S.F. Khonglam in Meghalaya in 2002.
Addressing the media later, Munda said he resigned “on moral grounds and principles, having lost the majority” and specially since “the terms and conditions of the independents as well as others who wanted to support us were not acceptable to us”.