RANCHI: The Opposition grand alliance (Mahagathbandhan) finally arrived at a consensus on seat distribution in Jharkhand on Sunday.
The common ground was reached after key opposition players in the alliance, Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha -Prajatantrik (JVM-P) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) settled on a seat-sharing formula.
The seat deal was formally announced by JMM president Shibu Soren, in the presence of state Congress President Ajoy Kumar, JVM President Babulala Marandi, JMM executive president Hemant Soren and former Union minister Subodh Kant Sahay, at his Ranchi residence.
However, none from the RJD was seen during the announcement of the seat deal. Word is that the party, which has only been allotted the Palamu seat as part of the alliance deal, is also keen to field a candidate from Chatra.
However, talks are on to persuade RJD to settle on a solitary seat for the sake of keeping the alliance together.
“After several rounds of talks with all the alliance partners, we have settled on a seat-sharing format in Jharkhand. As per the agreement reached, the Congress would contest 7 seats, JMM 4, JVM 2 and RJD 1,” the state Congress president said.
As per the deal, the Congress field nominees in Ranchi, Khunti, Lohardaga, West Singhbhum, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad and Chatra seats, while JMM will contest Dumka, Rajmahal, Giridih and Jamshedpur Lok Sabha constituencies.
The JVM will put up candidates in Koderma and Godda seats, while the RJD will contest Palamu.
“We had asked the Left parties to settle on 1 seat, but they refused. Hence, they couldn’t be inducted into the grand alliance,” Kumar said.It was also decided that if any dissident from any of the parties in the alliance decides to put his hat into the poll ring, he will be suspended from the party forthwith, Kumar added.