Home India Politics Congress makes clear stand against Jharkhand chief minister

Congress makes clear stand against Jharkhand chief minister


Ranchi : The Congress will decide on its support to the Jharkhand government only after Chief Minister Madhu Koda submits his progress report, but it seems to have already decided to take a stand by going it alone in the Simeria assembly by-poll scheduled next month.

“The Congress will fight the Simeria by-election (on Feb 4) alone just to send the message that the party has decided to go it alone in the state,” said state Congress spokesperson Alok Dubey.

The Congress would do so even though it does not have a strong presence in Simeria, he said about the assembly constituency in Chatra district that fell vacant after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Upendra Nath Das passed away.

“The Simeria by-election will indicate our stand against the state government,” Dubey added.

However, the party, which had issued a 60-day ultimatum to the chief minister that lapsed Tuesday, will take a final decision on supporting the government only after Jan 19 when Koda is scheduled to meet union minister Lalit Maken, the party official in charge of Jharkhand.

“In the closed door meeting, Koda will submit the progress report (over the last 60 days) to Maken. State Congress president Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu will also be there. Maken will review the reports submitted by Koda and the Congress and then a final decision will be taken,” said a senior Congress leader.

Koda, an independent legislator who became chief minister, had constituted a three-member team that Tuesday met Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, Congress leader Oscar Fernandes and others in New Delhi to resolve the matter.

The chief minister’s crisis management team comprises Deputy Chief Minister Sudhir Mahto, Education Minister Bandhu Tirkey and Water Resources Minister Kamlesh Singh.

Lalu Prasad is said to have assured the ministers that he would speak to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

But the Congress may not relent, given its unhappiness with tardy development and rampant corruption in the state.

In the 82-member house, Koda enjoys the support of 42 legislators. He is supported by the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress and independents. JMM has 17 legislators, Congress has nine, RJD has seven legislators and the rest are independents.