Cong says it's in no hurry

Ranchi, Jan. 14: The Congress is yet to take a decision on forming a government in Jharkhand and is unlikely to do so till the Centre takes a final decision on the report of Governor Syed Ahmed who has recommended President's Rule keeping the Assembly in suspended animation.

Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed, who met the governor in Raj Bhavan today and held discussions on the political situation for nearly an hour, said: "The party has not yet decided whether it will be involved in the formation of an alternative government in the state. I will be able to speak on the nature involvement ' joining a government or providing outside support ' only after it takes a final decision."

He said the governor had sent a report to the Centre, but that he did not know its contents.

Earlier in Delhi, he indicated that the "process" of government formation could take about 10 days. "Various heads have various views. Talks are on and a decision could be taken in eight to 10 days but most are of the view that election should not be held at this point of time," he told The Telegraph.

Ahmed, who handles party affairs in Jharkhand, said that his discussions with the governor today centred around the collapse of the law and order situation in Jharkhand. "Our Chatra district president has been shot dead. This shows that the law and order situation is poor in the state," he said, adding that he had urged the governor to direct caretaker chief minister Arjun Munda to act on the security concerns.

Two Independent legislators, Bandhu Tirkey and Chamra Linda, along with representatives of two other Independents, Anosh Ekka and Videsh Singh, called on the governor this morning to tell him that they were willing to support any effort at an alternative government in Jharkhand.

Tirkey, who is known to be close to both Congress and JMM, claimed he had held talks with MLAs Harinarayan Rai and Geeta Koda, too.

"We informed the governor that we Independent legislators would extend unconditional support to any effort at government formation. Both Rai and Koda are also willing though they could not come today personally," he told newsmen outside Raj Bhavan.

This was Tirkey's and Linda's second visit to Raj Bhavan after the JMM withdrew support to the Arjun Munda-led coalition. They met the governor on January 10, the third day after the crisis broke, and told him of their unconditional support to JMM and Congress efforts at government formation.

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