Jharkhand polls: Triangular contest likely as JVM reluctant to join grand alliance

Opposition’s grand alliance is yet to take shape apparently due to disagreement over the seat-sharing formula. JVM-P is yet to clear its stand whether it will join the alliance.

Published: 01st November 2019 06:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st November 2019 06:01 PM   |  A+A-

Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) chief Babulal Marandi

Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) chief Babulal Marandi. (Photo | Facebook)

Express News Service

RANCHI: Election Commission (EC) on Friday announced the Jharkhand Assembly polls from November 30th to December 20 and the results will be declared on December 23. However, the actual picture of Opposition is still not clear and there are chances that the contest will be triangular as JVM-P chief Babulal Marandi is reluctant to join the grand alliance against NDA and likely to field candidates on all 81 seats.

Opposition’s grand alliance is yet to take shape apparently due to disagreement over the seat-sharing formula. JVM-P is yet to clear its stand whether it will join the alliance or not saying that no formal talks have taken place so far with any of the parties and no decision has been taken by the party in this regard. It is said to have made up its mind to go it alone in these Assembly polls.

ALSO READ | Jharkhand to go to polls in five phases from Nov 30, results on December 23

“We are still in a wait and watch mode and take a decision after looking at the stand of other parties,” said JVM Spokesperson Saroj Singh. JVM-P is free to take any decision independently, he added.

Meanwhile, efforts are being made to reach consensus over seat-sharing between the largest Opposition Party JMM, Congress, RJD and Left Parties but no concrete formula has been chalked out so far in this regard. As per the agreement signed between Congress and JMM before Lok Sabha Elections, Congress was to lead grand alliance in Lok Sabha Elections, while JMM was to play big-brother’s role in Assembly Elections.

Senior Opposition leaders, however, are claiming that all the differences have already been sorted out and final blueprint of the seat-sharing formula will be chalked out after sitting together very soon. As per the seat sharing formula, JMM  which is eager to play big-brother’s role in Assembly elections, will be contesting on 43-45 seats, Congress will get 27-89 seats while RJD will be given five seats and Left parties will be getting four seats.

JMM General Secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya claimed that the exercise has already been completed grand alliance will soon take a final shape. “We are on it and all exercises in this regard has been completed, once the notification is issued, we will also give it a final shape giving you all the details about seat-sharing and all,” said Bhattacharya.

For the ruling state unit BJP, which will be going to the people with the issues of nationalism and development, it will be a challenge to secure 65-plus seats fixed by the centre. “People have already seen their actual faces earlier also; we only need to expose them to achieve the target of 65-plus in Assembly elections,” said BJP Vice President Deepak Prakash.

While, the Opposition parties, which believes that the Adivasi-Moolwasi in the State facing severe identity crisis due to anti-local policies of the state government is the largest issue along with increasing incidents of lynching, increasing unemployment, migration of large number of youths to other states in
search of livelihood.

“Greatest challenge before us to stop the polarization of votes instigated by the BJP by deviating people’s focus from the main issue,” said JMM General Secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya.

Some of the prominent leaders contesting these Assembly elections are – Chief Minister Raghubar Das, former Chief Ministers Hemant Soren, Babulal Marandi, former deputy Chief Minister Sudesh Mahto, Urban Development Minister CP Singh, Congress legislative party leader Alamgir Alam. Former DGP DK Pandey, along with half a dozen other IPS officers, is also striving for tickets from different political parties in these Assembly elections.

Among all Opposition parties, JMM is in strongest position with 19 MLAs in the Assembly, while Congress has only 9, JVM 2 and left parties together having 4 MLAs. Whereas ruling BJP has 42 MLAs and AJSU has only 4 MLAs making a total count of 46 in Jharkhand Assembly.

Navjawan Sangharsha Morcha, Jai Bharat Samta Party led by former Chief Minister Madhu Koda and Bahujan Samaj Party also have one MLAs each in Jharkhand Assembly, out of which Jagannathpur MLA Geeta Koda of Jai Bharat Samta Party contested 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Singhbhum with Congress ticket and was declared winner.

During Lok Sabha elections, NDA was declared winner on 11 seats while its closest ally AJSU got one seat. JMM and Congress on the other hand, managed to get one seat each.

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