Munda quits as Jharkhand chief minister

Ranchi, September 14 :

Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda announced his resignation in the assembly today, just before the trust vote could take place, signalling curtains for the 18-month National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in the state.

Amid indications that the numbers were stacked against Munda, the house met at 11 am soon after Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari said at a press conference that he was reserving judgment on the disqualification petition against three legislators, who would therefor have voting rights. All the legislators of the NDA and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) were in place when Munda began speaking in Hindi. The lines were clearly divided between 43 MLAs of the UPA and 38 of the NDA (excluding the speaker).

Munda stood up and enumerated the achievements of his government, saying that development had taken place in the state and his rule had achieved many milestones in education, health and other sectors. He then candidly admitted: “It is true we don’t have the numbers to continue in government. I am going to resign after meeting Governor Syed Sibte Razi.” The announcement led to jubilation in the opposition UPA benches with members standing up and showing the victory signs, while despondency was evident in the NDA as its legislators watched on silently.