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NDA seeks recall of Goa, Jharkhand governors

By Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi
Last updated on: March 02, 2005 20:06 IST
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A group of National Democratic Alliance leaders met President A P J Abdul Kalam on Wednesday to complain against Jharkhand Governor Syed Sibtey Razi's decision to invite Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shibu Soren to form the government in the state.

The NDA leaders, led by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, sought Kalam's 'urgent personal interference' in what they called was a 'matter of brazen assault on democracy in Jharkhand committed by none other than the governor of the state'.

The NDA emerged the largest pre-poll alliance in the House after the election results were announced on February 27.

Soren's party, with 17 members of Legislative Assembly, has an alliance with the Congress, which has 9 MLAs. It claims to have the support of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Left parties and Independents.

Talking to media persons after meeting Kalam at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party president Lal Kishenchand Advani said: "The institution of the governor has been sullied, submerged."

He said: "We had this apprehension and therefore Vajpayeeji and I spoke to the prime minister and the home minister. We are expecting the same in Bihar, too."

Advani said Kalam listened to NDA's arguments and 'assured to do the needful'.

The NDA – comprising the BJP and the Janata Dal (United) - has 36 legislators. Five Independents met the governor and expressed their support to the NDA. This in effect means the NDA will have the support of 41 MLAs in the 81-member House.

Advani said the Independent members met the media in Ranchi reiterating their support to the NDA.

In the memorandum submitted to Kalam, the NDA leaders reminded him of a similar situation in Andhra Pradesh in 1984. The then governor of the state, Ram Lal, had dismissed the then N T Rama Rao government despite it enjoying a majority in the House.

The Andhra Pradesh legislators had then presented their case to then President Gyani Zail Singh, who had reinstated Rama Rao's government.

In a separate press conference, Advani sought the recall of Goa and Jharkhand governors.

The action of the Goa Governor, by dismissing an 'elected' government, and the Jharkhand governor, by not inviting the largest pre-poll alliance to form the government, Advani said, had 'besmirched' the Constitutional office.

The National Democratic Alliance said it would parade 36 legislators and five Independents supporting the BJP-Janata Dal-United combine before President A P J Abdul Kalam on Thursday in a show of strength.

Advani said the government "should not expect cooperation from us" for Parliament's smooth functioning.

The Opposition alliance called a meeting of its parliamentarians on Thursday to chalk out a strategy in Parliament.

NDA convener George Fernandes said families of NDA legislators were being threatened by Union minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi and former Chattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi, who are camping in Ranchi.

"What is worrying is the extent the Congress and those in power will go. Those who wish to preserve democracy should think and unite".

With PTI inputs

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Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi