The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Koda review hint before coronation

Ranchi, Sept. 17: “Mission” over, the “rebels’” have left their star address for home, ready for tomorrow’s swearing-in ceremony and Madhu Koda, the chief minister-designate, is already on a roll.

“Through newspapers I came to know this morning that Arjun Munda has constituted the women’s commission and Scheduled Tribes Commission. A seasoned politician like him should not have indulged in such gimmicks. We have already decided to review all the decisions taken by the Munda government,” said Koda.

The MLAs left Hotel Ranchi Ashok last evening. They had been camping here since September 13. Though their houses were a stone’s throw away from the hotel, they did not go home alleging there was severe threat to their life.

The Morabadi grounds, meanwhile, is gearing up for tomorrow, where Governor Syed Sibtey Razi will be administering oath of office and secrecy. Veterans like Shibu Soren, Subodh Kant Sahay and Mabel Rebello are already camping in the state capital.

It is likely that Madhu Koda will be taking the oath tomorrow, along with Kamlesh Singh, Anosh Ekka and Harinarayan Rai. The names of the remaining members in Koda’s council of ministers will be decided later. The Congress is yet to decide on whether to join the Koda government or extend support from outside. Similar is the case with the RJD as well.

Arjun Munda, meanwhile, has confirmed to be at the swearing-in.

“He will be attending tomorrow’s swearing-in,” said Munda’s press adviser Harendra Kumar Singh.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad is expected to reach here tomorrow. He might announce the names of his party nominees at the eleventh hour.

NCP general secretary Tariq Anwar, also an invitee, would not be able to attend as he is busy with his party programme in Dehra Dun. But, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel will come.

Meanwhile, MLAs responsible for pulling down the NDA government in the state are suddenly full of praise for Munda.

They appreciate the way he put in his papers and his brief speech in the Assembly.

“We still need to learn more from Munda. His balanced speech in the Assembly is a lesson for all of us,” said Kamlesh Singh, who had been spewing venom against him till now.

Harinarayan Rai felt the Opposition would be very strong now that “it comprises more experienced politicians”.

“In the capacity of a minister in the Arjun Munda government, I faced more problems in the Assembly while answering questions raised by the NDA members. Now that they will be in the Opposition, we, too, will have to work hard. This will prove to be more beneficial for Jharkhand,” he added.

The run-up for the changeover has spilled onto the district administration as well. It has made elaborate arrangements for tomorrow’s function.

Pandals have been erected, which have four entrances. The pandals will house about 5,000 people, but more than 20,000 people are expected to attend. A fail-safe security is in place with over two dozen magistrates deployed at the site.

Sources are saying Koda has directed chief secretary M.K. Mandal to ensure the preparations are historic.

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