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Koda wins trust vote amid Opposition boycott

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VICTORY WAVE: Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda boarding a bus after proving the majority of the United Progressive Alliance allies at the Vidhan Sabha in Ranchi on Wednesday.
VICTORY WAVE: Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda boarding a bus after proving the majority of the United Progressive Alliance allies at the Vidhan Sabha in Ranchi on Wednesday.

Treasury benches garner 41 votes in the 82-member House against a single vote by CPI (M-L)

  • Concern over election of an Independent as CM
  • Balmuchu sticks to the agenda of trust vote
  • "Appointing an officiating Speaker in the absence of a regular incumbent wrong"

    Ranchi: The Madhu Koda-led government proved its majority in the Jharkhand Assembly on Wednesday with the Treasury benches garnering 41 votes in the 82-member House against a single vote cast by CPI (M-L)'s Vinod Singh. However, the entire Opposition NDA boycotted the proceedings, demanding the appointment of the Speaker first.

    As Mr. Koda placed the motion, the Opposition members created a ruckus in support of their demand and when it was not heard, they left the House en masse.

    The lone CPI (M-L) member Vinod Kumar Singh, who voted against the UPA Government, expressed concern over the election of an Independent MLA as the Chief Minister, saying the JMM, despite having the highest number of 17 MLAs, was not treated properly.

    After the show of strength, officiating Speaker Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu adjourned the House sine die.

    As the extended monsoon session began at 11 a.m., Mr. Koda sought to place the confidence motion.

    Immediately former Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari (JD-U) from the Opposition Bench demanded that the House conduct the election of the Speaker first before taking up the trial of strength.

    Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Arjun Munda also demanded the same followed by other BJP members, Saryu Rai and Ravindra Rai.

    Mr. Balmuchu stuck to the agenda of trust vote, prompting the Opposition to walk out raising slogans and accusing the Government of breaching the spirit of the Constitution.

    He argued that since the posts of Speaker and Deputy Speaker were vacant, the Governor had appointed him to conduct the proceedings of the House and it was not a violation of law.

    The aggrieved CPI (ML) member had said on Tuesday that all the four Ministers, administered oath of office and secrecy, were rebels from the erstwhile Arjun Munda-led NDA Government and charged the Congress with not showing seriousness about the future and stability of the UPA Government in the State.

    He charged the party with using Mr. Koda for its `vested interests.'

    BJP legislator Saryu Rai had sent a letter to the Governor, urging him to direct Mr. Balmuchu to conduct election of permanent Speaker before the confidence motion was taken up.

    Mr. Rai said appointing an officiating Speaker in the absence of a regular incumbent was a wrong tradition and against the spirit of the Constitution.

    The appointment of the officiating Speaker was done by that Government, which was yet to prove a majority in the House, he had.

    When the Munda Government fell on September 14, the then Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari also resigned. The post of Deputy Speaker had been lying vacant for a long time.

    Wednesday's extended monsoon session, the second in the past week, was necessitated after Mr. Koda, a UPA-backed Independent MLA, and three other Ministers were sworn in on September 18.

    Governor Syed Sibtey Razi had then asked the new Chief Minister to prove his majority by September 25. On September 14, the erstwhile Arjun Munda-led NDA government bowed out of power without facing the floor test. The Munda Government was reduced to a minority after four Ministers withdrew support on September 5.

    Governor defends move

    Jharkhand Governor Syed Sibtey Razi on Wednesday asserted that he had not created any precedent by appointing an officiating Speaker to conduct the floor test of the new Madhu Koda-led UPA Government in the House.

    ``There was nothing wrong in it,'' the Governor told an NDA delegation. UNI

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