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KCR meets Giridhar who helped unseat Atal govt

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PNS|Hyderabad

Former Odisha Chief Minister and senior Parliamentarian Giridhar Gamang visited Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao at the Pragati Bhavan on Friday. Gamang’s son Shishir Gamang and others were also present during the meeting. Both leaders discussed state and national politics.

Gamang is considered to be one of those responsible for the fall of the Atal Behari Vajpayee government on April 17, 1999.

In 1998, while he was a member of the 12th Parliament, he was asked to become the Chief Minister of Odisha. Two months later, there was a vote of confidence against the BJP government and Giridhar went to Parliament to vote against the government as he was from the Congress, despite the fact that he had to quit either the CM’s post or the MP’s post and become an MLA within six months.

Gamang was asked by the Chief Whip of the Congress in Parliament to attend the House for voting as per the anti-defection law.

The government lost power by a vote and it is widely believed that if Giridhar had abstained, the speaker, GMC Balayogi would have used his vote to save the government in case of tie. The fall of the government resulted in another general election in May 1999.

Gamang who later left Congress to join the BJP said that the fall of the government was triggered by the change of stand by the BSP which had five MPs in the Lok Sabha and the cross-voting of Prof. Saifuddin Soz.

Gamang, a veteran tribal leader of Odisha, who had held ministerial berths under Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and PV Narasimha Rao since 1982, had to quit the Odisha Chief Minister’s post immediately after the 1999 super cyclone that killed around 10,000 people.

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