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Jharkhand CM enters Limca Book of Records

An intense debate is on in local political circles whether Madhu Koda is the 'first independent legislator' or the fourth.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2007 20:26 IST

While Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda on Saturday ceremonially received a certification from the Limca Book of Records for being the Madhu Kodabecoming CM in the country, an intense debate is on in local political circles whether he is first or the fourth.

"It is a day of great happiness. I had not thought even in my dreams that one day I will create a record by being CM”, Koda said while expressing joy on receiving the certification and a copy of latest 2007 edition of the Limca Book from its representative at a simple function at CM residence here.

But the people who keep track on the country’s parliamentary records are not ready to accept Koda’s entry in the Record Book.

They firmly claim that Koda was the fourth independent legislator in the country who became CM.

“The distinction of being the first non-party legislator to become a CM in the country after the first general elections in 1952, goes to the three-time CM of West Bengal, Prafull Chandra Ghosh. While his first and the third tenure as CM was as the nominee of the Congress, Ghosh became the CM for the second time as a non-party legislator to head the Progressive Democratic Alliance Government in between November 1967 to February 1968," Rabindra Bose, a retired teacher told HT.

The second independent legislator to become CM was Bishwanath Das in Orissa in 1971. Similarly, A Khonglam, an independent MLA, became CM of Meghalaya in December 2001. Khonglam’s tenure as CM lasted for nearly 16 months, claimed some senior journalists while showing copies of previous news reports.

But the Limca Book’s representative, Tiger S N T Lee, who handed over the record certification to Koda, still justifies their decision to enter the Jharkhand CM’s name as the ‘first independent CM’ in the record book. (Koda’s name has been entered at page number 212 of the Limca Record Book’s 2007 edition).

Lee said, "Koda is the only independent CM who didn’t merge with any political parties to form the government. He is still continuing as independent MLA while holding the CM’s post; whereas all previous independent CMs had merged with political parties at the time of forming government. Hence, Koda is different and the first."

"More importantly, Koda formed his government with only four others MLA," Lee argued. But the Record Book has not mentioned any of these facts with Koda’s name.

"I also could not understand as to why they (Limca publisher) entered Koda’s name in the record book. At the time of Koda’s oath as CM, we had read in the newspapers that he was the fourth independent MLA becoming CM," said a Koda’s official aide who didn’t want to be quoted.

"In fact, I jokingly inquired from the Limca’s representative as to why he can’t include my name for breaking records, if Koda’s,” aide said.

First Published: Feb 24, 2007 22:21 IST