JMM response to Mukherjee's candidature 'positive': Cong

 A day before UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee's Jharkhand visit, Congress today said chances of JMM President Shibu Soren supporting him are positive, though he has chosen to defer the date of announcement of his choice for the July 19 election.

"I met Shibu Soren and Deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren last night and their responses were very positive. The JMM is also supporting the UPA at the Centre," AICC spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said.

The JMM has authorised Soren to decide the party's stand on the Presidential poll. The party has 18 MLAs in the Jharkhand Assembly and three MPs.

While Mukherjee is scheduled to visit Ranchi tomorrow, his opponent P A Sangma will be here this evening.

The BJP with 18 MLAs is having a coalition government with allies JMM, AJSU and JD-U.

Ahmed said he had also spoken to another Deputy Chief Minister and AJSU Party President Sudesh Mahto.

"Even Mahto’s tone and tenor over the phone was positive. He was out of Ranchi yesterday, and we may meet today," he said.

The AJSU with six MLAs in the Assembly has also entrusted the job with Mahto.
Ahmed also met Excise Minister Gopal Krishna Patar and Sudha Choudhary, both MLAs of the Janata Dal (U), whose central leadership has already announced that it would vote for Mukherjee.

The AICC leader called on Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantric) President and former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi to thank him for lining up his party's 11 MLAs and two MPs in favour of Mukherjee.

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