Fasting Congress legislator to boycott assembly session

February 16th, 2008 - 8:59 pm ICT by admin  

Ranchi, Feb 16 (IANS) Jharkhand Congress legislator Neil Tirkey, who has been on an indefinite fast since Tuesday to protest state Rural Development Minister Enos Ekka’s remarks about the party, Saturday said that he would boycott the budget session of the assembly. “At a personal level, I have withdrawn support to the Madhu Koda government. I will boycott the budget session of the assembly,” Tirkey, who began his fast at the Simdega district administration office, told reporters here.

Tirkey’s condition is said to have worsened and he has been admitted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS).

Ekka, at a rally in Simdega Monday, alleged that the Congress leader in-charge in Jharkhand created trouble for the coalition government just so he got a “suitcase”, referring to a bagful of money.

Tirkey had taken offence to his remarks. “I will sit on fast till the minister is not removed from Chief Minister Madhu Koda’s cabinet or the party (Congress) withdraws support from the government,” he said in Simdega, about 120 km from here.

The Congress is one of the dominant partners in the coalition government in the state, led by Chief Minister Madhu Koda, an independent. The Congress has lately been threatening to pull out if Koda did not improve his style of functioning.

The government recently drafted a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) in a record time of two days just ahead of the expiry of a 60-day Congress ultimatum to the government to shape up.

The Congress, however, suffered a defeat in an assembly by election held early this month. And the two main allies of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) - Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) - are averse to withdrawing support from the government.

Asked about the party’s stand, the Congress legislator said: “Let the party decide what to do with the government. I have withdrawn my support from the government the day I started the fast.”

On Friday, Simdega police arrested some of Tirkey’s supporters who were fasting alongside the legislator.

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