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Since 1st March, 1999
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Cong, JMM to work out election strategy

Jamshedpur, April 1: Their past differences notwithstanding, JMM and Congress have decided to bury the hatchet and put up a united show in the Lok Sabha elections.

The parties, under the banner of the UPA, have decided to meet on April 7 to discuss poll strategies, logistics and uniting cadres.

The meeting will be attended by senior JMM leaders, including party vice-president Champai Soren, central general secretary Bidyut Mahto, district chief Rodiya Soren and party candidate from Jamshedpur Suman Mahto. From the Congress’s side, state president Pradip Balmuchu, party’s Jharkhand in-charge K. Keshav Rao, district chief Ravindra Jha and other leaders will be present.

Jha said Mahto had taken the initiative to arrange the meeting. “The meeting is important for two reasons— first, in view of the parliamentary elections and secondly, JMM and Congress will be sharing the same platform after a long time,” Jha added.

Members of the district Congress said JMM had long been cold-shouldering them when it came to elections. “We wanted to join the JMM campaigns, but did not do so as the candidates never approached us,” a Congress member said.

But realising that ignoring Congress could prove to be a mistake, Mahto approached Jha and sought his party’s help in campaigns and other election-related matters, a Congress supporter said.

Jha reportedly asked the Congress functionaries to campaign for her. “Earlier, we were busy campaigning for Bagun Sumbrui, the UPA candidate from Singhbhum. But, now we have decided to fully back the JMM candidate,” said a Congress member.

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