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Will Congress go alone in Jharkhand polls?

Source: PTI
October 27, 2009 20:01 IST
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The Congress on Tuesday remained undecided whether to go it alone in poll-bound Jharkhand or tie up with regional parties.

"Majority of our party workers in Jharkhand want Congress to go it alone in the assembly polls there. When it comes to having alliance, some want a tie-up with Shibu Soren's Jharkhand Mukti Morcha while others prefer an alliance with Babu Lal Marandi's Jharkhand Vikas Morcha," Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told mediapersons in New Delhi.

Ahmed, a member of the high power committee of Congress to assess political situation in the state, however said the party leaders are unanimous in their decision not to have any truck with the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

"We have apprised the Central leadership regarding all these views and a final decision would be taken shortly," Ahmed said. The five-phase election in the state is scheduled to begin from November 27.

Meanwhile, a senior party leader on the condition of anonymity admitted that the party is keen to forge an alliance with Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party.

"Paswan has command over a certain percentage of dalit votes in a number of seats in state and the dalit leader is in a position to ensure shifting of these votes to the party he aligns with," he said.

LJP has clearly maintained that its alliance with RJD is 'unbreakabale.' Congress has not been able to form a government in Jharkhand since the state's inception in 2000.

The party on Tuesday said several pro-poor programmes including Central schemes like National Rural Employment Guarantee Act implemented in the state would help it come to power in the ensuing assembly elections, even as the JMM, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India-Marxist rejected this claim.

"Pro-people welfare projects including NREGA were effectively implemented in Jharkhand. These will certainly help Congress in getting people's support to ensure victory in elections," Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee General Secretary Sailesh Kumar Sinha said in Ranchi.

Rejecting the Congress's claim of the development work done, JMM charged the administration with complete failure in the implementation of its announcements, party's organisational secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya said.

BJP's state unit president, Raghuvar Das also hit out saying the state's economic situation during the past three years, including during President's Rule that lasted nine months, remained unchanged. CPI-M alleged corruption in the implementation of the NREGA in the state.

The five phase poll in Jharkhand begins from November 27. Jharkhand was placed under President's rule and the 81-member assembly was in suspended animation since January this year after Chief Minister Shibhu Soren lost a by-election and resigned.

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