Ranchi, March 6: Gearing up to prove a point in the tribal hinterland, Akhil Bharatiya Jharkhand Party today resolved to field 14 candidates in Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Bengal with a pledge to weed out corruption and restore rights of poor tribals over water, forests and land.
In Jharkhand, the party would put up candidates in Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Lohardaga and Khunti, which was represented by the party’s founder and one of the stalwarts of the statehood movement N.E. Horo who won thrice in 1967, 71 and 80.
This time, the Jharkhand Party has decided to field Budhai Munda from Khunti. “He is 65 years old and was earlier a senior officer at Patna secretariat,” said party vice president Lal Vijaynath Shahdeo, who will contest from the Ranchi seat.
An advocate, Shishir Kumar Vaisya will be contesting the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat, but the party is yet to finalise its candidate for the Lohardaga seat.
These apart, the party would be fielding candidates in Purulia and Jhargram in Bengal, Virmitrapur and Palkora in Chhattisgarh and Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Deobhar and Keonjhar in Odisha.
“As on date, we are not going to forge alliances with anyone. In fact, no one has so far approached us on the issue. Tribals have always had great faith in us. After having burnt their fingers over the years, this time they are going to exercise their franchise judiciously,” said Shahdeo after a meeting of the party’s central committee presided over by its chief C.R. Manjhi at N.E. Horo’s Ranchi residence.