Presidential poll: Jharkhand Mukti Morcha silent on Droupadi Murmu
The ruling Grand Alliance of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress and the RJD in Jharkhand continue to dither on whom to extend support for the presidential poll scheduled on July 18.
The meeting of JMM parliamentarians and legislators, held at the residence of party patriarch and Rajya Sabha MP Shibu Soren in Ranchi on Saturday, failed to arrive at any conclusion with confusing statements coming from different quarters.
Senior party leader and seven-time MLA from Shikaripara (in Santhal Pargana region), Nalin Soren, claimed that party executive president and chief minister Hemant Soren would meet Union home minister and sort out “grievances” before any stand is taken on supporting NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu.
“We have some grievances, especially the inclusion of Sarna dharma code for tribals in the Census religion column. The chief minister would be meeting Union home minister Amit Shah next week in Delhi and based on the outcome of the meeting, we will take a call on supporting the nomination of Droupadi Murmu or UPA candidate Yashwant Sinha for the presidential election,” said Nalin, considered close to Shibu.
However, party central general secretary and spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya denied any meeting planned in Delhi.
“Nobody is going anywhere. There is still time for the presidential election and we will meet again soon and take a decision on the issue. We discussed the current political scenario in the state apart from the presidential election,” said Bhattacharya.
He also added that any decision by the party on a presidential candidate would be taken in the interest of the state and the country.
The BJP-led NDA has nominated former Jharkhand governor Murmu as its candidate.
Murmu filed her nomination papers on Friday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of Union ministers, MPs and chief ministers.
The Opposition has named former Union minister Yashwant Sinha as its joint candidate for the presidential poll.
“With the support of the BJD and YSR Congress, Murmu has votes with a value of at least 6.17 lakh in an electoral college of 10.86 lakh, which is comfortably above the majority mark by at least 74,000. Sinha could get 4.37 lakh votes. We can understand the dilemma of the JMM as it claims to be a tribal party and cannot afford to draw ire of tribals as Murmu belongs to Santhal tribal community,” said a senior BJP leader.
Significantly, the JMM had sent party’s lone Lok Sabha MP Vijay Hansda and state sports minister Hafizul Hassan Anari for the Opposition meeting on June 15 called by TMC leader and Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Delhi.