NEW DELHI: The opposition alliance on Friday declared seat-sharing arrangement for the Jharkhand Assembly polls as per which the JMM will contest 43 seats, Cong 31 and RJD in seven constituencies, in the face of perceived resentment by Lalu Prasad’s son Tejaswi Yadav.
The seat distribution among the allies was announced by AICC in-charge R P N Singh at a press conference here along with JMM working president Hemant Soren.
— Jharkhand Congress (@INCJharkhand) November 8, 2019
The opposition grouping for the crucial assembly polls comprises three partners minus their pre-Lok Sabha poll ally Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantriks) of former chief minister Babulal Marandi, which has already announced to contest all the 81 seats in the state on its own.
There was nobody from the RJD at the press meet.
But, Hemant Soren told reporters that the seat-sharing has been finalised after consulting RJD president Lalu Prasad when asked why RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav, who was in the town, did not join them at the press conference.
“Talks are going on. RJD leaders are here. The alliance is in the knowledge of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad. There are some questions and we are sorting them out. All the three alliance partners are on the same page,” Soren said when asked why there was no representation from the RJD in the press meet.
Happy to announce our Mahagathbandhan for the Jharkhand elections with Shri Hemant Sorenji.This is an alliance of and for the people of Jharkhand to end the corrupt BJP government rule here # pic.twitter.com/a3ZQmqYuqP
— RPN Singh (@SinghRPN) November 8, 2019
The Congress leader said that the opposition will contest the election under Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leadership with Hemant Soren as its chief ministerial candidate.
Singh said there will be no friendly contest and anybody fighting against the official candidate will face action by the respective parties.
Jharkhand will see five-phase polling to the 81 seats between November 30 and December 20 with counting slated on December 23.
Singh said RJD has been given Deoghar, Godda, Koderma, Chatra, Barkatha, Chhatarpur and Hussainabad seats.
He also announced opposition parties contesting the 13 seats going for the first phase election on November 30.
They are Gumla (JMM), Bishunpur (JMM), Lohardaga (Congress), Manika (Congress), Latehar (JMM), Panki (Congress), Chatra (RJD), Daltonganj (Congress), Bishrampur (Congress), Chhatarpur (RJD), Hussainabad (RJD), Garhwa (JMM) and Bhavnathpur (Congress).
Singh said similarly the rest of the seats would be announced in a phase-wise manner.
“The opposition alliance under the leadership of the JMM with its leader Hemant Soren as the chief ministers candidate will fight the elections and fulfill dream of Jharkhand,” Singh said.
A RJD leader told PTI, “Tejaswi Yadav met Hemant Soren in Ranchi during the day and now is meeting his father Lalu ji at RIIMS after taking special permission from Birsa Munda Central Jail authorities.”
Prasad is in Ranchi jail since 2017 end after his conviction in cases related to the multi-crore fodder scam.
Asked why Yadav was not present in the press conference, he said, “Nothing is clear yet, after Tejaswi Yadav meets with Lalu Yadav can we say anything.”
The RJD had also resented after the erstwhile Grand Alliance gave it only one of the 14 Lok Sabha seats to contest in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with its then state president Annapurna Devi joining the BJP and winning the Koderma Lok Sabha seat as BJP candidate.
Goutam Sagar Rana, who succeeded Devi, later parted ways and formed RJD (Loktantrik) and reportedly tried to get into the opposition alliance in the ensuing assembly elections, but his newly formed party has been ignored by the opposition alliance as has been the case with the left parties.
A RJD worker was seen angrily asking Congresss Legislative Party leader Alamgir Alam, who was entering his car after the press meet near Ranchi Press Club, why RJD was given less number of seats and that “can the opposition fight the BJP without the RJD”.
The JMM had won 19 seats in the 2014 assembly elections, but two of its MLAs, Kunal Sarangi and Jai Prakash Bhai Patel, have defected to the BJP recently.
The Congress, which had allied the RJD in 2014 assembly, elections, has eight seats in the current House.
Two of the MLAs, Sukhdeo Bhagat and Manoj Yadav, recently joined the BJP-fold.
JVM (P) had won 8 seats in the previous state poll, but later six of its MLAs had defected to the BJP, leaving it with a tally of two.
The RJD has no member in Jharkhand house at present.
Source: Press Trust of India