Saturday, November 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Marandi to be Jharkhand CM
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Nov 10 — Former Minister of State Babulal Marandi will be the first Chief Minister of Jharkhand on November 15 when the 28th state of the Union comes into existence.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party high command led by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has successfully mollified six-time Lok Sabha MP from Jharkhand Karia Munda, the party along with its National Democratic Alliance partners has started working for ensuring a comfortable majority in the newly created Jharkhand Assembly.

Talking to reporters today at the party headquarters, the BJP Secretary in charge of Jharkhand, Mr Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, said that a BJP-led NDA government would be installed in Jharkhand on November 15 and a decision on the person who would lead it has already been taken.

Without disclosing the name of the person, Mr Naqvi gave enough hints about Mr Marandi.

Meanwhile, Mr Munda told newspersons about his meeting with the Prime Minister last evening that he was satisfied with the meeting.

The BJP Vice-President, Mr K. Jana Krishnamurthi, was entrusted the task of talking to Mr Munda who was sulking ever since his claim was ignored by the party high command and was insulted with the offer of a minister of state in the council of ministers.

Yesterday, Mr Krishnamurthi met Mr Munda and then briefed Mr Vajpayee about the meeting. The Prime Minister then called Mr Munda for a meeting with him. Mr Vajpayee told Mr Munda that he would be suitably accommodated in the Union Cabinet.

Meanwhile, the BJP state leaders are in touch with the MLAs of the other parties for ensuring a comfortable majority, sources said adding that the legislators of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha are being targeted with suitable offers for support.

When asked about it, Mr Naqvi admitted that BJP’s state leadership was in touch with JMM MLAs who do not want to have any truck with the former Bihar Chief Minister, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav.

Another leader said that the JMM legislators were not very happy with the JMM chief over his affinity with Mr Laloo Yadav and this fact is obviously being used to “our benefit”.

With the issue of Mr Marandi being settled, the Vajpayee government is keeping close vigil on the law and order problem, sources said.

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