Sonia, Rahul may not campaign with allies

Party to keep distance from Lalu, Nitish in Jharkhand

Sonia, Rahul may not campaign with allies

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi may not join the campaign trail for the Assembly elections in Jharkhand with alliance partners Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United).

The top leadership of the Congress is keen to stay away from Lalu Prasad, convicted in a corruption case and disqualified as member of Parliament.

The Congress' top two are also learnt to have been wary of being seen on the same platform with Nitish Kumar, as the party is yet to take a decision on going it alone in Bihar, where Assembly polls are to be held next year.

After parting ways with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Congress is contesting the elections in coalition with the RJD and the JD(U).

However, this alliance appears confined only to seat sharing, as the Congress will not release a joint manifesto. “The Congress will release its own manifesto. There will be no joint manifesto with the RJD and the JD(U),” said a Congress leader.

The Congress campaign is expected to focus on the misdeeds of the BJP during its 10-year rule in the state rather than its achievements while sharing power with the JMM.
The Congress and the JMM had formed government in Jharkhand in July last year.

The Congress' state unit has drawn up campaign plans for the party president and the vice-president. Initially, Sonia and Rahul are expected to address eight and five rallies, respectively, in Jharkhand.

The Congress has already announced the first list of 14 candidates, and is expected to follow up with another set of names in a day or two.

The five-phase Jharkhand elections are scheduled to begin on November 25, with the results being declared on December 23.
DH News Service

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