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Hemant’s ‘no’ to Third Front

Baripada (Odisha), Dec. 23 (PTI): Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren today said the JMM’s alliance with the Congress was intact and the two parties would jointly contest the coming Lok Sabha elections, while ruling out any possibility of joining proposed Third Front.

Also, Hemant, who arrived in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district yesterday on a two-day visit, said his party had not forged any state-specific poll alliance with any party here as yet and any decision in this regard would be taken at the right time.

On his party’s plan to strengthen base here, Hemant said the JMM was hopeful of a better performance in Odisha in the 2014 battle, as compared to the 2009 polls. “The state unit is prepared to fight the elections confidently this time,” he added.

The JMM central committee under the leadership of party patriarch Sibu Soren would decide how many seats and which seats the party would contest.

Slamming the Odisha government for denying the tribals their legitimate rights, Hemant questioned the state’s seriousness about all-round development of tribals here. He cited the 2011 census that showed tribal population in Odisha had dwindled over the past decade.