Banna, Dubey in Cong final 3

Read more below

  • Published 18.08.13

New Delhi, Aug. 17: After much brainstorming, the Congress has finalised two of the three legislators who will be joining the Hemant Soren Cabinet within a week.

The two are Banna Gupta and Chandrashekhar Dubey, alias Dadai Dubey. The name of the third minister is likely to be okayed in next few days.

Confirming the development, state PCC chief Sukhdeo Bhagat said Gupta and Dubey would join party colleagues Geetashree Oraon and Rajendra Prasad Singh in the Jharkhand Cabinet by August 23. “The party high command has cleared the names. There were certain issues, but we have resolved them. There are no hurdles now,” he added.

Bhagat, however, declined to explain as to why Dubey, who has a number of criminal cases pending against him, scored over other contenders.

As for the delay in declaring the names of legislators for the remaining three Congress berths in the Cabinet, high-level sources said the party top brass was in a bind over Gandey (Giridih) MLA Sarfaraz Ahmed, who was a front runner.

“The party was keen to have a minority face in the government, but the fact that Ahmed is under the scanner for the 2010 Rajya Sabha horse-trading case went against him. There were two factions, one for and the other against him. In the end, senior leaders decided to drop his name in favour of a person with a clean image,” an insider told The Telegraph.

Mannan Malik, another minority MLA, has been also ruled out because of his links to the recent shootout incident outside the Congress office in Ranchi when party general secretary B.K. Hariprasad was visiting the state.

“When an MLA facing corruption charges been sidelined, there is no question of including Malik as one of his close aides was involved in the shooting. Therefore, his name was dropped too,” the source maintained.

K.N. Tripathy and Yoginder Sahu were also pitching hard for ministerial berths, but were vetoed out on seniority issue.

Sources said though some leaders were opposing Bandhu Tirkey’s inclusion even if he joins the party, hopes are still alive for him.