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Delhi meeting on LS seats

Ranchi, Dec. 4: Stepping up preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, state unit Congress president Sukhdeo Bhagat and Congress Legislature Party leader Rajendra Prasad Singh today called on the party’s co-ordination committee member, Madhusudan Mistri, in Delhi to discuss the seats in Jharkhand that the party would be contesting.

Names of potential candidates also figured during the discussions.

According to sources, the leaders agreed in principle to cede Dumka and Palamau Lok Sabha seats to JMM since they already had sitting MPs there.

The party is also not averse to parting with two seats among Jamshedpur, Rajmahal and Giridih.

Since Ranchi MP Subodh Kant Sahay now happens to be Congress’s lone Lok Sabha member from Jharkhand, the name of the candidate for Ranchi was not discussed. But Mistri was informed that Furqan Ansari could be fielded at Godda, Chandrashekhar Dubey at Dhanbad or Chatra, Saurabh Narayan Singh at Hazaribagh and Sarfaraz Ahmed at Giridih or Koderma.

Sources further said that Sukhdeo Bhagat and Rajendra Prasad Singh too expressed their willingness to contest the 2014 general elections.

Bhagat reportedly wants to try his luck from Lohardaga, while Singh is interested in Dhanbad or Giridih. Whether Madhu Koda or his wife Geeta Koda should be given a party ticket to contest from Chaibasa if they joined the Congress was also discussed.

However, when contacted, Bhagat rubbished the reports.

“Neither I nor Rajendra Singh spoke about ourselves. The party high command will decide the candidate for Chaibasa. It will also take a call on whether we should be ceding certain seats to RJD. Our main challenge now is to win maximum number of Lok Sabha seats,” he added.

The state unit president also said that another meeting with the Congress election committee would be held tomorrow. He confirmed that he had not yet received an appointment with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi even though these meetings are being held at the latter’s behest.

“A clearer picture will emerge after tomorrow’s meeting. We have submitted our reports. The party high command will take appropriate decisions soon,” Singh said.

The leaders also deliberated on ways to strengthen the party organisation, especially consolidating the secular vote bank.