Congress, JJM Announce Seat-sharing for Jharkhand Assembly Polls, Unhappy RJD Stays Away
The JMM will fight on 43 seats and Congress on 31 seats. The alliance partners have left 7 seats for RJD, however the absence of RJD leaders in the press conference indicated that it was not happy with its quota of seats.
JJM's Hemant Soren and Congress RPN Singh address the press conference on Friday. (Image: Twitter/@INCJharkhand)
New Delhi: The opposition alliance between Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Congress on Friday announced a seat sharing agreement 19 days before voting for the first phase of assembly poll begins in Jharkhand.
The JMM will fight on 43 seats and Congress on 31 seats. The alliance partners have left 7 seats for RJD, however the absence of RJD leaders in the press conference addressed by Hemant Soren and RPN Singh indicated that it was not happy with its quota of seats.
The alliance partners announced seats for the first phase of assembly election, in which a total of 13 seats are going to polls.
JMM will contest on Gumla, Garhwa, Latehar and Bishunpur seats, while Congress will fight on Lohardaga, Monika, Panki, Bishrampur, Daltongunj and Bhawanthpur. Three seats - Chattra , Husaainabad and Chattarpur have been left for RJD.
The 81 seat assembly has nine seats reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) and 28 for Scheduled Tribes (ST).
Projecting a CM face has been a sticking point for the alliance. According to reports, while Hemant Soren, the son of JMM patriarch Shibu Soren, wants the alliance partners to declare him as the CM face, the Congress has not been in favour of the idea.
Sources in the party say that RJD leader, Tejashwi Yadav, who had come to meet Hemant Soren, for seat sharing talks, was not present at the press conference because he was not happy with the number of seats allotted to the RJD. In particular the assembly seat of Bishrampur, to which Congress refused to part with, is a sticking point in the seat-sharing talks.
Bishrampur is said to be the home turf of senior Congress union leader, former state cabinet minister and former MP, Chandra Sekhar Dubey. Congress had fielded his son Ajay Kumar from the Bishrampur seat in 2014.
Addressing the press conference, Hemant Soren, said, "We are still in talks with the RJD leadership and we are hopeful of getting into an alliance with them. From whose quota will their additional seats come from, is hard to say at the moment."
RPN Singh, Congress' in-charge for Jharkhand said, "We have given an alternative to BJP. We are holding talks with potential alliance partners on seat-by-seat in a time bound manner. We have announced details for the first phase today. More announcements will be made at an appropriate time."
JMM and Congress had decided to fight, both the recently held Lok Sabha polls and the upcoming assembly elections together. While Congress was to play the role of the 'elder brother' in Lok Sabha, it was decided that JMM would be the bigger alliance partner in assembly elections. BJP ended up sweeping the Lok Sabha polls with JMM bagging two seats.
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