Jharkhand Opposition announces poll alliance

Under the agreement, JMM will contest in 43 constituencies, Congress in 31 and RJD in seven.

After several meetings and deliberations, the Opposition parties in Jharkhand on Friday formally announced an alliance for the coming Assembly elections to 81 seats.

Under the agreement, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) will contest in 43 constituencies, the Congress in 31 and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in seven.

The Congress’s State in-charge, RPN Singh, made the announcement at a press briefing along with JMM leader Hemant Soren. However, no RJD leader was present. Party leader Tejaswhi Yadav was said to be in Ranchi from Thursday.

When asked about the absence of a RJD representative, Mr. Soren said, “some questions of the RJD remain to be addressed and they will be done soon. It is very difficult to meet imprisoned RJD supreme Lalu Prasad ji quite often but we’ll sort out those questions later amicably”.

However, sources in the RJD told The Hindu that they kept themselves away from the press briefing because the party’s demand for certain seats was not met with.

The seven seats the RJD got are Deoghar, Godda, Chatra, Hussainabad, Chhatarpur, Koderma and Barkatta.

“The alliance will contest the polls under the leadership of Hemant Soren and he will be our chief ministerial candidate”, Mr. Singh said. “There will be no friendly fight in any seat between the alliance partners, and if anyone contests, strict action will be taken against him by the respective parties”.

BJP, AJSU yet to make seat adjustment

Seat adjustment between the ruling BJP and the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) is yet to take place as, sources said, the latter had put more demands for seats. “Situation is not like 2014…in 2019 things will begin from a new perspective”, AJSU leader Sudesh Mahto said recently. The BJP has announced that it would win more than 65 seats this time.

In the 2014 Assembly polls, the BJP won 37, the JMM 19 and the Congress six. The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) of former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi has declared that it would contest in all the seats.

The elections will be held in five phases from November 30 and the results announced on December 23. Nominations for the first phase polls for 13 seats has begun from November 7. Sixty-seven of the constituencies are Maoist-affected.

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