Have support base in seven LS seats in J’khand, but open to negotiations for seat sharing, says Raja - Hindustan Times
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Have support base in seven LS seats in J’khand, but open to negotiations for seat sharing, says Raja

Jun 19, 2023 09:32 PM IST

Raja was in the state to hold consultations with his state executive about the future prospects. A delegation of the party led by Raja also met chief minister Hemant Soren on Sunday.

RANCHI: Calling for the unity of secular and democratic parties to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), CPI national general secretary D Raja, who is in Ranchi, on Monday said that his party is keen to contest the elections in alliance with the incumbent UPA alliance in the state in the upcoming Lok Sabha and assembly polls in Jharkhand in 2024.

Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren meets CPI general secretary D. Raja, in Ranchi, on Sunday. (PTI)
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren meets CPI general secretary D. Raja, in Ranchi, on Sunday. (PTI)

Staking claim, Raja said the party has support in half of the Lok Sabha seats in the state but is open to negotiations. “We have discussed the issue in the party. Our state unit has identified at least seven LS seats and 20 to 22 assembly seats where the party has a traditional support base. But these seats are subject to negotiations,” Raja said.

Raja was in the state to hold consultations with his state executive about the future prospects. A delegation of the party led by Raja also met chief minister Hemant Soren on Sunday.

The CPI currently does not have any member in the Lok Sabha or in the state assembly. The lone member from the Left in the assembly is Vinod Singh of the CPI (ML). Though the Left has had a traditional support base in certain pockets of the state, especially the coal-bearing areas, popularly known as Koylanchal, it has failed to make it’s presence felt electorally.

Bhubaneshwar Prasad Mehta was the last to have won any Lok Sabha seat from the state. He represented Hazaribagh in Lok Sabha from 2004-2009.

In 2019, the Left wanted to be part of the JMM-Congress-RJD alliance, but it was kept out of the seat-sharing formula. Of the 14 Lok Sabha seats, the Congress got nine seats, JMM contested four while one seat went to the RJD. From its quota of nine seats, Congress had allotted two seats to Babulal Marandi’s JVM (P).

“What happened in the past is not important. If we have to defeat the BJP; all parties need to come together and contest. I have discussed the issue with CM Hemant Soren. We will also be attending the opposition meeting on June 23. Though we admit that we have not done well electorally here, we have had a traditional support base in the state. And going by what is happening in the country, especially under the Modi regime, the ideological and political support of the Left is fast gaining ground. And it’s clear from the way PM Narendra Modi has been targeting the communist party,” said Raja.

Though the party is making claims of support in half of the seats, insiders said the leadership could settle for one Lok Sabha seat in Hazaribagh which was in the past represented by Mehta.

Reacting to the demand, both Congress and JMM spokespersons said their central leadership is holding consultations with other parties and a final call on seat sharing would be taken in due course.

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