RANCHI: Amid the trouble mounting on Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren over mining lease allegations, Congress has staked claim over the Rajya Sabha seat in Jharkhand.
Congress Chief Rajesh Thakur and State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Alamgir Alam along with Rameshwar Oraon, Banna Gupta and Badal Patralekh, met Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Wednesday and expressed their desire of sending a Congress candidate to Rajya Sabha and sought his support for the same.
According to Congress leaders, the grand alliance had supported JMM Chief Shibu Soren during the last Rajya Sabha elections; therefore, it is now their turn this time, to field a candidate.
“We told the Chief Minister that we want someone from the Congress who goes to the Rajya Sabha, and hence, want to field a candidate from Congress party,” said Alam while coming out of the meeting with Chief Minister. The Chief Minister has also given positive signs to their proposal saying that he will think over it
and take a final decision on their proposal, he added.
“In 2020, the JMM fielded Shibu Soren on the first preference seat. As coalition dharma, it should help us field our candidate this time round,” said Alam.
According to current numbers in Jharkhand Assembly, Congress cannot win the election alone, but the grand alliance has enough numbers to win at least one Rajya Sabha seat, he added.
Jharkhand Congress Chief also asserted that a proposal has been made before the Chief Minister, to which, he reacted positively.
Meanwhile, within hours of the meeting of top Congress leaders and CM Hemant Soren, JMM General Secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya held a conference and announced it has already been decided ahead of 2019 elections that JMM will field its candidate for Rajya Sabha seats getting vacant during 2019 and 2024.
“As per the pre-poll alliance, it has already been decided that JMM will be fielding its candidate on the three Rajya Sabha seats getting vacant during the period 2019 and 2024 while the Congress Party, being a national party, will play the role of big brother during Lok Sabha elections,” said Supriyo Bhattacharya. Last time, Guruji was our candidate and this time also, JMM will filed its own candidate and the Congress should support him, he added.
The JMM has 30 members in the 81-seat assembly and a candidate needs 27 votes to win. Congress on the other has 17 MLAs while BJP has 26 MLAs, including Babulal Marandi. Besides two independent MLAs, RJD, CPI (ML) and NCP each have 1 MLA.
In the present scenario, the grand alliance will get one of the two seats in Rajya Sabha and the BJP is also likely to get one seat if it succeeds in bringing the two independent MLAs to its side. JMM chief Shibu Soren and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Deepak Prakash had won the two seats in 2020. The Congress did field Shahzada Anwar but lost.