Congress asks RJD not to nag
The Congress announced the names of five candidates on Sunday for the first phase of Assembly elections due on November 30, but all does not seem to be well in the Opposition alliance in the poll-bound state.
Congress president Rameshwar Oraon will contest the Lohardaga (ST reserved) seat, Ramchandra Singh the Manika (ST reserved) seat, K.N. Tripathi Daltonganj, Chandrashekhar Dubey alias Dadai Dubey Bishrampur and K.P. Yadav Bhavnathpur, it was announced on Sunday.
But just two days after the announcement of a seat-sharing pact by the JMM, Congress and RJD, chinks have started to show.
While the RJD is unhappy with seats allotted to it and wants some more from the Congress kitty, the grand old party has maintained that instead of flagging such issues, the RJD should work towards the “larger goal” of defeating the BJP-led NDA alliance in Jharkhand.
The RJD has been given Deoghar, Godda, Koderma, Chatra, Barkattha, Chatarpur and Hussainabad seats. But the party’s unhappiness came to the fore on Saturday when JMM working president Hemant Soren met incarcerated RJD supremo Lalu Prasad in RIMS, where he is hospitalised on judicial custody. On his way out, Hemant accepted that Lalu had raised “certain issues”. Hemant said that the RJD’s objection was related to Manika, Bishrampur and Bhavnathpur seats, all of which had gone to the Congress.
However, the Congress won’t budge, said state party working president Irfan Ansari, in response to the RJD wanting the Congress to part with some seats. “We won’t entertain any such demand. Winnability is the only factor. How can we think of giving seats that we think we will win to others? We already have agreed to contest only 31 seats though the number of ticket aspirants from our party is much higher.”
Ansari said that the RJD should understand that this election was very important and “instead of nagging for few specific seats, the party should focus on working together to defeat the BJP”. “Similar mistakes in the Lok Sabha polls this year cost the Opposition dearly,” he said.
The JMM on Sunday released its first list of three candidates for the first phase of polls. The party fielded Bhushan Tirkey from Gumla, sitting MLA from Bishunpur Chamra Linda from the same seat, and Mithilesh Kumar Thakur from Garhwa.
Congress leader from Gumla Rajnil Tigga joined the JVM along with his supporters on Sunday. JVM supremo Babulal Marandi welcomed the new leader and said people in Jharkhand were looking at the JVM with “new hope”. He claimed a JVM government would be formed in the state this time.