Uncertainty continues to shroud the fate of Madhu Koda with the Congress on Friday clarifying that the former Jharkhand chief minister had not formally joined the party though he was “with it for all practical purposes”.
Just a day ago, media reports had claimed that Koda had joined the Congress on November 1 in the presence of state party chief Dr Ajoy Kumar and his party — Jai Bharat Samanta Party — had formally merged with it. His wife Geeta Koda, MLA from Jaggnathpur, had joined the Congress in presence of party chief Rahul Gandhi nearly a month ago.
On Friday, state Congress spokesperson, Kishore Shahdev, told The Indian Express: “Geeta Koda has already formally joined the Congress. Their party, Jai Bharat Samanta Party, has merged with the Congress and Madhu Koda is helping his wife. However, as far as Madhu Koda joining the Congress is concerned, the formal process has not been completed.”
The confusion has given the BJP an opportunity to take potshots at the Congress for “creating a laughable situation” with state BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdev accusing the party of “ill-treating tribal leaders”. Madhu Koda belongs to the Ho tribe.
Congress sources said the confusion began after Madhu Koda, Geeta Koda and Dr Ajoy Kumar attended a public meeting in Chaibasa Thursday.
“Right from helping to organise the public meeting, to being on the stage, and making a speech, Madhu Koda was very much a part of the programme. Later, some journalists asked him whether he had joined Congress. He said that he would be at the same place where his party flag and his leader (referring to Geeta) are. It was seen as an admission that he has joined the Congress,” a Congress leader, privy to the episode, said.
Despite repeated attempts, Madhu Koda could not be reached, while Geeta Koda said that she would talk about the issue later as she was busy.