Marandi demands withdrawal of controversial Bill

RANCHI: The Opposition United Progressive Alliance (UPA) MLAs in Jharkhand will leave for Delhi on Sunday to meet President Abdul Kalam and Chief Election Commissioner B.B. Tandon seeking disqualification of 13 legislators of the BJP-led Arjun Munda Government for holding offices of profit, which it claimed could reduce the Government to a minority.

The UPA convener, Stephen Marandi, said on Saturday that the MLAs would leave for the capital on Sunday to press their demand. He did not specify their number.

A day after passage of a controversial Bill in the Jharkhand Assembly to protect a number of National Democratic Alliance MLAs from possible disqualification, Mr. Marandi said the UPA had urged Governor Syed Sibte Razi not to approve it.

``We have urged the Governor not to give his approval and sought withdrawal of the black Bill,'' Mr. Marandi told reporters.

He demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Jharkhand Legislator (Removal of Disqualification) Bill, 2006 passed on Friday in the Assembly.

The Governor on Friday wrote to Mr. Tandon seeking to know the status of the four NDA MLAs accused of holding offices of profit.