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Sedate Sahi in no hurry

Ranchi, Dec. 23: Expelled Forward Bloc legislator Bhanu Pratap Sahi is in no hurry to be a minister. Nor is his father — to quit from the Madhu Koda cabinet.

Bhanu, after spending nearly two months behind the bars, insisted on mobilising supporters instead of demanding a ministerial berth.

“For the last two months, I have remained cut-off from masses. I need to go to my Assembly constituency at the earliest. People in my constituency know that I am innocent. I have no lust for power,” he said.

His comment poured water on all speculation and paved way for Bhanu’s father — Lal Hemendra Pratap Sahi — to remain the health minister. At least, for the next four months or so. The senior Sahi might quit a fortnight before completing six months in office to make way for his son, but he is in mood to resign right now. “If Koda asks me to vacate the cabinet berth, I am ready to oblige him. But there is no hurry on my part,” the minister said.

The UPA partners, in a bid to bridge the rift, have decided to keep mum over the issue for the time being, terming it a “purely family affair”.

Soon after being released from RIMS this morning, Bhanu rushed to chief minister Madhu Koda’s residence with his father. Deputy chief minister Sudhir Mahto, RJD member Prakash Ram, Congress legislator from Hatia Gopal Sharan Nath Shahdeo and CPI-ML (Liberation) member from Bagodar, Vinod Kumar Singh, were present at Koda’s residence when Sahi arrived. They, too, joined the “celebrations”.

The informal discussions stretched long and the chief minister had to postpone his meeting with the Assembly’s housing committee.

The Bhavnathpur MLA appeared a relaxed man while coming out of Koda’s residence.

Asserting that his priority was the unity of the UPA, Bhanu said he was ready to make any sacrifice to ensure that the Koda government completed its tenure.

“Let the chief minister decide whether he would like my father to continue as a minister in his government, but I want to iron out the creases within the UPA,” Sahi told The Telegraph.

His father, health minister Lal Hemendra Pratap Sahi, too, was in a jubilant mood after Bhanu was released from the RIMS cottage this morning. “I am happy that my son is out on bail. He will rise in politics,” said an apparently relaxed father.

About 100 members of Bhanu’s “Nauzwan Sabha” thronged the major thoroughfares of the state capital in two-wheelers celebrating Bhanu’s “much-awaited” release. After meeting Koda, Bhanu went to Albert Ekka Chowk with his supporters and garlanded the martyr’s statue. Then the procession went towards Pahari Mandir on Ratu Road, where he offered prayers.

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