New Delhi: After weeks of negotiations, the opposition parties — Congress, JMM and JVM — announced their seat sharing formula for both the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls on Sunday.
The press note issued by the three parties mentioned that while Congress will lead the election campaign of 'Mahagathbandhan' in Lok Sabha polls, JMM chief Hemant Soren will lead the united campaign of the Opposition in the Assembly polls due later this year, and fight on most number of seats.
For the Lok Sabha elections, Congress will fight on most number of seats — seven — including Ranchi, Khunti and Dhanbad. Soren's JMM will fight on four seats — Dumka, Giridih, Rajmahal and Jamshedpur; JVM on Koderma and Godda. One seat, Palamu, has been left for RJD. Although RJD is reportedly not happy with the seat distribution and has still not given its nod to the alliance.
The Left as well, whose inclusion in the alliance Hemant Soren was pushing for, has also been left out of the seat distribution "because the parties could not come to a consensus on one seat", though the statement adds, "if left parties still reach a consensus on a seat, an agreement can be reached".
According to sources, Left parties wanted Dhanbad, Hazaribagh and Chatra, all three of which have gone to Congress. The Left is likely to fight alone on these seats.
Discussions on seat sharing were also stalled for some time, sources said, because both JVM and Congress wanted Godda, which eventually went to JVM, and on Chaibasa which both Congress and JMM were bargaining for. It eventually went to Congress.
"We have fought together against BJP (with support of Congress) before and won 13 out of 14 seats. This time our target is 14 seats. We will push BJP out of our Lok Sabha seats and the assembly," Soren said during the press conference.
To speculations about a Muslim candidate being put up by the opposition, Soren hinted that while this was not a possibility on Lok Sabha polls, Muslim leaders would be accommodated in the state's share of Rajya Sabha seats.
Ajay Kumar, president of Congress' Jharkhand unit, who was also present at the press conference, added that the united opposition had decided to sack any "rebel candidates" to avoid possibilities of vote splitting.