Koda, Soren brace for D-Day

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By OUR BUREAU in Giridih
  • Published 19.08.08

Ranchi/Giridih, Aug. 19: Chief minister Madhu Koda has agreed to a special session of the state Assembly on August 25 for him to face a trial of strength in the light of the JMM withdrawing support to his 23-month-old government.

Dismissing talk of his impending resignation as mere speculation, Koda reiterated that he was in no mood to quit. But, he refused to spell out his strategy of getting the desired numbers to save his government now reduced to a minority.

JMM Shibu Soren, who was in Giridih for most part of the day in connection with the Pirtand double murder case, continued with his rant against the Koda government, but made it clear that he wouldn’t settle for anything less than the chief ministership of the state. Asked about the Congress’s gameplan of bailing him out with Cabinet berth if his bid for the state’s top post failed, Soren said, “It is only a rumour and no such thing is going to happen. So far there has been no talk with any Congress leader.”

Also, he denied he had received calls from Delhi on such an offer. “There is no call from Delhi as I have already talked and met all concerned there before withdrawing support to the Koda government.”

Koda, who spent most of the day clearing official files with principal secretary Sukhvinder Singh, maintained his composure and denied allegations of horse trading. He claimed his government had won the hearts of the masses and THE legislators during the last 23 months. And now, they would help him win the vote of confidence in the House.

He too denied plans of going to Delhi to seek the blessings of UPA leaders, but did not rule out the possibility of holding “peace talks” with the JMM.

“My doors are always open for talks. I am sure the JMM, too, will review its hasty decision. If need be, I will go to Delhi as well. But, I will never give up. Wide ranging options are still open. Everything can’t be discussed in public,” he said smiling.

On Soren’s allegations that Koda was “dancing to the tune of mighty leaders in Delhi”, a not-so-oblique reference to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Koda played cool. “I

am being backed by the entire UPA. Above all, God is with me. Soren is our guardian.”

But Soren did not return the compliment. “Even in the UPA, I am fighting this battle against the Koda government alone,” he said in Giridih, but held back on criticising either the Congress or the RJD for not supporting him. “We are still together and when the time comes, they will come forward”.

Signing off a confident note, He said, “I have the support of not 42 but 45 MLAs and the all the sons of the soil are with me.”