M A I N   N E W S

Munda wins trust vote
Namdhari elected Speaker

Ranchi, March 15
Backed by 40 MLAs, Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda won a vote of confidence in the 81-member Assembly today.

Ruling party nominee and state JD (U) president Inder Singh Namdhari was, earlier, elected Speaker by a voice vote.

With this, the fortnight-long political uncertainty ended in the state.

Three MLAs—NCP member Kamlesh Singh, Independent member and former Minister in the Shibu Soren government Jopba Majhi and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha member Shukh Ram Orao — were absent when the vote of confidence in the three-day-old NDA government was taken up in the House.

Opposition UPA members said they would challenge in a court of law the “unconstitutional” process by which the Speaker was elected and the vote of confidence was won.

“The pro tem Speaker straightaway took up the resolution for the election to the post of the Speaker without taking up the demand to disqualify Jharkhand People’s Party MLA Enos Ekka, who violated his party whip. He has conducted the Speaker’s election violating the norms of the Constitution,’’ UPA leader Stephen Marandi told reporters.

“Similarly, the confidence motion was also taken up in an undemocratic manner despite our protests,” Mr Marandi said.

Pro tem Speaker Karia Munda had informed the House at the beginning that he had received two resolutions for the post of the Speaker and he had taken up the first one.

The house was adjourned for 15 minutes after the election of Mr Namdhari as Speaker and the vote of confidence was taken up when it reassembled.

The Speaker asked the members in the treasury benches to stand up in support of the motion. After head counting he found that 40 members were in favour of the motion and declared that Mr Munda had won the vote of confidence.

The Speaker put up the motion for voting without any discussions on it.

Meanwhile, a UPA delegation today met Jharkhand Governor Syed Sibtey Razi and apprised him of the day’s developments in the House.

“We told the Governor how the Tenth schedule incorporating the anti-defection law was openly flouted in the House,” Mr Marandi told mediapersons near Raj Bhavan here.

Expressing disappointment over the “violation” of the anti-defection law, he said the UPA would seek an appointment with President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to apprise him of the events in the House. — UNI, PTI

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