The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fight for post gets murky

Ranchi, Oct. 11: The UPA government in the state tottered on Wednesday with ministers openly trading charges against each other and lobbying for coveted portfolios.

Targeting ministerial colleague Bandhu Tirkey, Anosh Ekka said sarcastically, “Tirkey, like a hilly river, is all sound and fury, overflowing after the slightest rain”.

Another minister, Harinarayan Rai, also added his own pearl of wisdom. “Naya chhatra (student) jyada jhukta hai” (Freshers indulge in more antics), he quipped.

Ekka and Kamlesh Singh met at Rai’s house in the morning before all three called on Koda immediately after the chief minister returned from New Delhi. They were upset at Tirkey “giving the impression that he is running the show”.

Stressing that the government must be run by consensus, the trio appears to have served an ultimatum to the chief minister.

Bandhu Tirkey reacted sharply to the allegations. “I am as important for the survival of this government as they are,” he told The Telegraph, “and I will have to reconsider my position if they continue to raise accusing fingers at me.”

If the chief minister was finding it difficult to get along with him, he said, he would willingly quit the cabinet. “ It will not take me a minute to tender my resignation,” he angrily added.

The chief minister spent the entire day in fire-fighting and continued meeting his ministerial colleagues to brief them on distribution of portfolios, now expected to be announced on Thursday.

A fresh round of bickering is expected to start once the distribution takes place.

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