The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Marandi upset, again

Ranchi, Oct. 16: The berth pangs just don’t seem to end for Madhu Koda.

Stephen Marandi, one of his deputies, today refused to take charge of his departments arguing that the chief minister was yet to fulfil his “commitment” on giving the “pro-people” energy portfolio to him. Rural development minister Anosh Ekka, too, expressed displeasure over the portfolio distribution.

“I am ready to return the deputy chief minister’s status, but cannot compromise on the energy department,” Marandi told The Telegraph. The Independent MLA is in charge of finance, commercial taxes, national savings and parliamentary affairs.

Marandi claimed he did not demand portfolios such as finance and parliamentary affairs. “Yet these departments were imposed on me as there were no takers for them. I just wanted a portfolio that would facilitate direct interaction with the public,” he held.

Ekka, on the other hand, said the chief minister “should not forget the promises he made while bringing down the Arjun Munda dispensation”.

“Had we not toppled the government, the UPA MLAs would have remained mere MLAs. So where is the question of having all the MLAs on a uniform level'” he argued.

Koda, however, said: “The ministers have not given me the reasons for their annoyance formally.”

Sudhir Mahto, also a deputy chief minister, did not have any problems and was quick to award a subsidy of Rs 1.46 crore to 15 small-scale industries. “Environmental clearance and forestland will be given to the proposed industries in keeping with the norms,” he said.

Human resource development minister Bandhu Tirkey inspected Ratu High School after taking charge and also held a series of meetings with education and sports officials.

The others ministers who assumed office today included Nalin Soren, Joba Manjhi and Kamlesh Singh.

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