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Munda jab at Hemant over Simon flip-flop

Ranchi, May 13: Former chief minister and senior BJP leader Arjun Munda today questioned his successor Hemant Soren’s failure to expel JMM MLA Simon Marandi from the party while dismissing him from his council of ministers for anti-organisational activities.

The leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly also sought to know whether the chief minister would take similar action against his ministerial colleagues like K.N. Tripathi and Yogendra Sao, who openly criticised his style of functioning.

Munda said the arbitrary transfer/posting of officials by the Soren government proved that it was party to misuse of the official machinery and plunder of state resources.

“In the recent past, the chief minister dismissed his two senior ministerial colleagues from the state Cabinet — Chandra Shekhar Dubey and Simon Marandi. Both these leaders had levelled serious charges against the chief minister and his close aides. While Dubey quit the Congress on his own, the JMM is reluctant to take action against Marandi. This proves that the JMM legislature party leader (Hemant) is unable to justify his actions at the party forum,” Munda told The Telegraph a day after the JMM failed to take a call on Simon’s fate at a marathon meeting of the party’s extended central executive committee.

Perhaps emboldened by exit poll projections that have given the BJP 10 to 11 seats of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand, Munda lambasted the Congress, asking why the party leadership was keeping mum though several members of the Soren government complained that corruption ruled the roost and interests of commoners were not being safeguarded.

“The Congress compelled Madhu Koda (former chief minister who is now facing several corruption cases) to commit wrong things and finally put him behind bars. Now, they have trapped Hemant. We cannot remain mute spectators to this plunder of state resources,” he added.

On the BJP’s future action plans, Munda said they would wait till the Lok Sabha poll results were announced, as 10 sitting MLAs had entered the fray. He added future strategies could be chalked out only in the light of the Assembly composition that will emerge only after May 16.