Cong-led Jharkhand alliance against BJP in tatters

Pact crumbled when JD(U) fielded candidate against Cong

Cong-led Jharkhand alliance against BJP in tatters

Less than a month after three parties, the Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) announced a tie-up for the Jharkhand Assembly polls, the alliance is in tatters in Dhanbad.

The alliance was stitched primarily to check a resurgent BJP. But with nearly half of the elections over, the pact appears to have developed cracks as the JD (U) and the Congress are contesting against each other in Sindri Assembly constituency, an important segment under Dhanbad Lok Sabha seat.

As per the understanding reached among the three parties, the Congress got the lion’s share of 56 seats out of total 81 Assembly seats in Jharkhand, thereby leaving 16 and nine Assembly seats for the RJD and the JD (U) respectively.

But the pact started crumbling when Nitish Kumar’s outfit fielded Sushil Kumar Singh against Congress leader Jairam Singh, a popular trade union leader, from Sindri.
The Congress now has to fight BJP’s Phoolchand Mandal–the sitting MLA from Sindri, who was earlier with the JVM–besides its own alliance partner the JD (U).

It’s against this fool-hardy approach of Nitish, that the rally which the JD (U) organised two days back in Dhanbad saw a poor turnout of merely 500 people to listen to the former chief minister of Bihar.

Now contrast this with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Dhanbad on Tuesday where nearly 2 lakh people turned up.

Fighting a listless battle, the Congress has virtually given up in this region, except for Dhanbad where it has a sitting MLA in the outgoing Assembly, Mannan Mallik, the state disaster management minister.

Mannan is using Lalu and Nitish’s cut-out for his campaign, but neither of the two leaders have campaigned for him.

Also, no Congress leader campaigned for the RJD or the JD (U) nominee. This is in sharp contrast to the BJP-led alliance where Lok Janshakti Party MP Chirag Paswan is seen campaigning for the BJP candidates.

This bonhomie could be seen even though the BJP has given the LJP just one seat out of 81 constituencies in Jharkhand, Shikaripara, which goes to polls on December 20.

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