Eye on Ls poll, Cong favours sharing power with JMM in J'khand
With the term of the President's rule set to expire in about a fortnight, Congress is working towards an alliance with JMM to form an alternative government in Jharkhand, primarily to try and win a lion's share of the 14 Lok Sabha seats.
Under the understanding reached so far, Congress will accept JMM chief Shibu Soren's son Hemant Soren as Chief Minister, while JMM will have to concede nine to ten seats to Congress in the next Lok Sabha polls, sources said.
They said Congress will participate in the alliance government in the state, though there are some views contrary to it also within the party.
Hemant Soren and senior JMM leader Champai Soren today arrived in New Delhi from Ranchi and they will be meeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, senior leaders A K Antony and Ahmed Patel. Antony also heads the Congress sub-group on alliances for 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Congress was intitally not enthusiastic to the formation of a government in Jharkhand despite intense pressure by the majority of its MLAs.
"However, with Lok Sabha election nearing, the party went for it to add another party to UPA in next Lok Sabha elections and JMM has a support base in the state, which cannot be denied," averred a senior Congress leader.
Out of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand, Congress currently has only one in Subodh Kant Sahay. JMM has two members. They fought the last general elections separately.
In 2004 Lok Sabha elections, when both parties had fought in alliance, Congress had won six and JMM four seats. RJD and CPI were also in the alliance and they had got two and one seat respectively bringing 12 seats in UPA I kitty then.
AICC General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed, Congress in-charge of the state B K Hariprasad, JPCC president Sukhdeo Bhagat and CLP leader R P Singh called on JMM supremo Shibu Soren and his son, Hemant in Ranchi today and held talks on the possibility of formation of a government in the state.
Sources say if RJD joins the alliance, two seats can be given to it from Congress possible share of nine to ten seats.