M.P. Governor asked to hold additional charge

RAIPUR, DEC. 22. Taking a serious note of the political developments in Chhattisgarh, the Centre has asked the Madhya Pradesh Governor, Dr. Bhai Mahavir, to hold additional charge of the State in the absence of Mr. Dinesh Nandan Sahaya.

Mr. Sahaya is recuperating in New Delhi following a heart surgery and is expected to resume duty on December 26.

Sources here said Dr. Mahavir had been asked to submit a report on the split in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the merger of the splinter group with the Congress. The BJP has accused the Chief Minister, Mr. Ajit Jogi, of indulging in horse- trading and pressurising and luring its MLAs through Collectors and other senior Government officials.

Though Mr. Sahaya has been away for the past three weeks now, the urgency to ask Dr. Mahavir to hold additional charge just for a few days was felt since the Centre did not get any report from the Governor on the extraordinary political developments in the State.

Dr. Mahavir, who is aware of the politics of the region since he was the Governor of the undivided Madhya Pradesh, will take the oath of office on Sunday. He was away in Gwalior today for the Prime Minister's visit.

Mr. Jogi on Saturday flew to New Delhi where he is expected to meet the Congress president, Ms. Sonia Gandhi, and apprise her of the latest situation. Sources said he would also finalise the names to be included in the Cabinet in the much- awaited reshuffle likely to take place on December 27.