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JMM and Congress may part their ways over seat allocation

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Ranchi: Contrary to earlier speculations about an alliance between the ruling alliance partners, Congress and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, in the upcoming Assembly elections in the state, the two parties have apparently started parting their ways on the issue of seat division.

While JMM has made it clear that it would contest the elections on 50 out of the total 81 seats, the Congress too has indicated that it may field candidates on all the 81 seats across the state.

Sources in the JMM said that Chief Minister Hemant Soren and party supremo Sibu Soren had made their intentions clear before the Congress leaders that the party will not compromise with its major share of seats which would not be less than 50 under any condition.

Significantly, the CM is on a campaign visit to different districts of Jharkhand in a bid to strengthen the party and motivate party workers. He had recently said that the party had the courage and strength to contest and win the elections without entering into an alliance. An alliance may only be possible if JMM is allowed adequate elbow space, sources said.

JMM leaders have contended that the party had won two out of the four Lok Sabha seats where it had fielded its candidates in the Lok Sabha elections this year notwithstanding the wave of Narendra Modi. The party lost Giridih seat by a nominal margin, party leaders said.

“There is a different between Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Lok Sabha election is contested keeping in mind the national political scenario and issues. This is why JMM had allowed Congress to field candidates on most of the Lok Sabha seats in the state. Now it is the duty of Congress to allow JMM to field maximum number of candidates as JMM is a regional party with stronghold in the state,” said JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya.

In view of the ambitious plans of JMM, Congress has also started its preparations to strike a suitable alliance with other parties including Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, Janata Dal (U) and Rashtriya Janata Dal. The screening committee of the Congress led by Bhanwar Jitendra Singh had recently chalked out strategy to contest the polls on all 81 seats. The next meeting will be convened on 23rd September.

A faction of Congress leaders believe that allying with JMM will not be beneficial for the party and hence JVM may be a good choice as a partner owing to the relatively clean image of Babulal Marandi. Talks are also on with JD (U) and RJD leaders for an alliance, party sources said.

State JD (U) president Jaleshwar Mahato and state RJD president Girinath Singh had recently said that they may become partners of Congress. JVM has demanded that the alliance leader should be chosen ahead of forging an alliance. This has prevented the alliance formation so far.

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