The Congress has finalised a tie-up with former chief minister Babulal Marandi's Jharkhand Vikas Manch for the forthcoming assembly elections in Jharkhand.
According to Congress sources, Marandi's party has agreed contest 19 of the 81 seats in the state. There will also be friendly fights in six seats, in which both parties were unable to come to a settlement.
Marandi is a strong tribal leader with a clean image and the alliance will be a boost to the Congress. The Congress has broken ties with the Shibu Soren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.
The Congress is also hoping to cash in on the recent corruption/money laundering scandal involving former chief minister Madhu Koda. Though the Congress had backed the Koda government, party leaders feel given Koda's background in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the scandal will affect the Bharatiya Janata Party more than the Congress.