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'Govt ready to hold assembly polls in Jharkhand'

July 14, 2009 20:23 IST
The government on Tuesday expressed readiness to hold assembly elections in Jharkhand after monsoon and sought extension of President's rule there beyond July 19, but Bharatiya Janata Party opposed the move seeking immediate polls.

Moving a statutory resolution for extension of the President's rule, Home Minister P Chidambaram said the government was committed to hold elections in the state, but not before the monsoons are over.

"We will come with a proposal for holding elections in the state, but since that cannot be done till the monsoons are over, I request the House for extension of President's rule in the state by another six months," he said.

Chidamabaram said the Jharkhand Governor has sent a report to the Centre saying that no party has till now staked claim to form government in the state.

President's rule in the state was proclaimed on January 19 and will expire on July 18.

Former chief minister Arjun Munda of BJP, who moved a motion to revoke the President's rule, claimed that the state has not benefited under Central rule.

"The state has witnessed a spurt in crimes," Munda said and alleged that the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi has become a hub of political activities.

Munda said BJP was worried that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance at the Centre might use the extension of President's rule to further the political interests of the ruling party.

He said the Raj Bhawan had been "used" by Congress to keep the BJP away from power in 2005.

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