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Ajoy moots rainbow alliance

- JVM exodus continues as former Jamshedpur MP gets set to join Congress on Friday

Jamshedpur, Aug. 20: Former Jamshedpur MP Ajoy Kumar, who has quit the JVM and joined the Congress although a formal announcement is awaited, seems to have taken a leaf from Afro-American civil rights activist and Democratic Party leader Jesse Jackson’s book to put the UPA back on track ahead of the Assembly polls in Jharkhand.

The 51-year-old former IPS officer said his priority would be to help forge a “rainbow coalition” of like-minded parties to counter divisive politics of BJP.

“I have given it (the proposed coalition) the name ‘rainbow’ as it will have the distinct colours of different parties with similar ideologies, but ensure representations of all sections of the society. No party will be excluded in the coalition. At present, the Congress, JMM, RJD are together running the government in Jharkhand and the JD(U) is also likely to join the alliance (UPA). We are also trying to bring Ajsu and JVM on board. I am hopeful of positive results,” Kumar told The Telegraph. He was speaking at Tatanagar station after arriving in the city for the first time since declaring his decision to join the Congress.

Kumar’s rainbow coalition reminds one of another group of the same name that was formed within the Democratic Party spearheaded by Jesse Jackson during the 1984 US Presidential elections and attracted Blacks, Latinos, Asian-Americans, American-Indians and poor Whites. Although it made an impressive debut in 1984 and 1988 Presidential elections, the coalition’s influence diminished by 1992.

Asked whether he was inspired by Jackson’s rainbow coalition, he said: “May be. You can say I am inspired.”

“In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP polling percentage was 30 per cent. If we manage to get the remaining 70 per cent in the Assembly polls, we will have the edge. Our coalition will have representations from all sections — backward, upper caste, moolvasis and non-moolvasis, minorities and tribals,” said Kumar, who lost to BJP’s Bidyut Baran Mahto in the general elections.

Though Kumar technically joined the Congress in the presence of senior leaders in Delhi on August 6, no formal announcement has been made so far. He will join the party on August 22 at the state Congress headquarters in Ranchi, confirmed state party president Sukhdeo Bhagat.


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