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Soren `not sincere' in shifting Coal India office

JAMSHEDPUR, JUNE 27 . The Jharkhand Vikas Dal (JVD), which is all set to merge with the Janata Dal (U), today criticised Coal and Mines Minister Shibu Soren for ``not initiating prompt action'' in shifting the headquarters of Coal India Limited (CIL) from Kolkata to Ranchi.

Talking to reporters here, the JVD founder Suraj Mandal alleged that Mr Soren was ``not sincere'' about shifting the CIL headquarters to the capital of Jharkhand.

He said though the Minister had announced shifting of the office, ``Mr Soren was yet to take any positive step in this regard''.

Mr Mandal, a former JMM leader, said the demand was not new and it was mentioned in the JMM's manifesto in the past, and other parties in the state also supported the demand.

Since Jharkhand was the leading producer of coal in India, there was no justification in keeping the headquarters of CIL in Kolkata, he said.

The JVD leader, who lost the last Lok Sabha elections on a JD (U) ticket from Godda seat, said not only the CIL, but the head offices of the Damodar Valley Corporation and Steel Authority of India Ltd. should also be shifted to Jharkhand.

Mr Mandal also demanded that the zonal office of Eastern Railways should be in Jharkhand and criticised the previous Railway Minister for shifting the zonal office from Kolkata to Hajipur in Bihar.

``The zonal office of railways should have been in Jharkhand instead of Bihar as the maximum revenue of the Railways is generated from this state,'' Mr Mandal claimed.

The previous government had ``deprived'' Jharkhand from its ``legitimate right'', he said adding that the Jharkhand government had to incur a loss to the tune of Rs 700 crores annually for not having the headquarters of the CIL and the zonal office of the Railways in the state.

Mr Mandal said the formal merger of the JVD with the JD (U) would take place in Ranchi on June 30 in presence of prominent-political leaders.

UNI

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