Congress to convice Marandi to stay in mahagathbandhan

Mahagathbandhan in Jharkhand (PTI File Photo)

A day after Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) announced to contest the ensuing assembly elections on its own, the Congress Monday said it would try to convince JVM-P president Babulal Marandi to continue with the "Mahagathbandhan".

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), however, said Marandi's decision would not have any impact on the opposition grouping poll prospects. "Khuchh Nahin (nothing)," JMMs General Secretary-cum- spokesman Suprio Bhattacharya said when asked what impact it would have on "grand alliance" after Marandi walking away from it.

Marandi, a former chief minister and president of JVM-P, had on Sunday claimed the opposition parties did not show any interest when he tried to talk to them soon after the Lok Sabha elections, leaving the party to decide to contest all the 81 seats.

As per the 'mahagathbandhan' understanding, the allies publicly announced before the Lok Sabha elections that the Congress would lead the Lok Sabha elections in the state while the JMM would steer the assembly polls.

The Congress, however, said it would make efforts to continue the pre-Lok Sabha 'mahagathbandhan' along with JVM-P, JMM and RJD.

The JMM and the Congress had won one seat each in the Parliamentary poll out of a total 14 constituencies in Jharkhand. "Our PCC president Rameshwar Oraon will soon meet Marandi ji and convince him that the people want the opposition to contest in unison," Jharkhand PCC spokesman Alok Dubey said.

"In addition to continuing the mahagathbandhan, the Congress also wants all the left parties in the opposition alliance," he added. He said the Pradesh Election Committee is meeting later in the day to delve upon party candidates, seat adjustments with opposition allies before sending the list to the steering committee of the party in Delhi.

Jharkhand will see five-phase polling to the 81 seats between November 30 and December 20 with counting slated on December 23. The notification for the first of the elections will be issued on November 6.

The JMM had won 19 seats in the 2014 assembly elections with two of its MLAs, Kunal Sarangi and Jai Prakash Bhai Patel, defecting to the BJP recently. The Congress, which had allied the RJD in 2014 assembly, elections, has eight seats in the current House.

Two of the MLAs, Sukhdeo Bhagat and Manoj Yadav, recently joined the BJP-fold. JVM (P) had won 8 seats in the previous state poll, but later six of its MLAs had defected to the BJP, leaving it with a tally of two. The RJD of Lalu Prasad has no member in Jharkhand house at present.

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