J’khand: JMM, RJD eye more seats in LS polls - Hindustan Times
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J’khand: JMM, RJD eye more seats in LS polls

By, Ranchi
Jul 17, 2023 10:04 PM IST

The three parties in Jharkhand had contested both Lok Sabha and assembly elections in alliance in 2019 as well. As per the seat sharing agreement, while Congress led the alliance with maximum seats to contest in Lok Sabha elections, the JMM led the alliance in the assembly polls.

The seat sharing formula among the ruling alliance constituents in Jharkhand — Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) — could change for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, as compared to the 2019 polls, as JMM and the RJD have started demanding more seats.

Jharkhand Congress president Rajesh Thakur met CM Hemant Soren at the latter’s residence in Ranchi on Monday. (ANI)
Jharkhand Congress president Rajesh Thakur met CM Hemant Soren at the latter’s residence in Ranchi on Monday. (ANI)

All three parties are attending the two-day Opposition unity meeting in Bengaluru that began Monday.

The three parties in Jharkhand had contested both Lok Sabha and assembly elections in alliance in 2019 as well. As per the seat sharing agreement, while Congress led the alliance with maximum seats to contest in Lok Sabha elections, the JMM led the alliance in the assembly polls.

The 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand were shared by Congress, JMM and RJD in the ratio 9:4:1, respectively. Congress had allocated two seats from its quota to the Babulal Marandi-led JVM(P). The alliance, however, could win only two seats — Rajmahal and Chaibasa — one each by Congress and JMM.

With momentum building up for the general elections, the political circle in the state is abuzz with possible change in the seat sharing formula among the three allies, with RJD and JMM both seeking more seats.

“Realistically, we had not accepted the seat sharing formula even last time. That is why a friendly fight happened between Congress and RJD in Chatra as well. We have informed our top leaders that we have traditional support base in at least four Lok Sabha seats of Palamu, Chatra, Koderma and Godda and we should contest them. We have won Palamu, Chatra and Koderma several times in past and have a strong base in Godda. As the state unit president, I have informed my leadership about the sentiments of our workers. Now, it’s up to them to decide,” said Sanjay Yadav, president of RJD’s Jharkhand unit.

Koderma and Godda seats were allocated to the JVM (P) by Congress from its quota. Following the 2019 assembly polls, Babulal Marandi merged his JVM (P) with BJP. Both these seats are now being eyed by RJD.

JMM workers have also demanded more seats.

A few party leaders had raised the matter even in the JMM’s central committee earlier this month. The party workers are of the view that JMM would give a better fight in tribal seats like Khunti and Lohardaga that went to the BJP last time, a JMM leader said.

JMM spokesperson Manoj Pandey said while top leaders will take a decision on this, the party was better placed to take on BJP in a few seats. “We played the lead role in 2019 assembly polls, and we received a historic mandate. The popularity of our young chief minister, who is also the face of the alliance in the state, has grown strength by strength since he became the chief minister. So, the party cadre is of the view that we would do better if JMM plays the big brother role in the Lok Sabha polls as well,” he said.

Congress leaders, however, played down the demands.

“There is nothing unusual in such demands. But when it comes to Lok Sabha polls, these things are decided considering national perspective and narrative. Moreover, this is no time to decide on these issues. Presently, all leaders are busy weaving a national alliance and ensure one opposition candidate against BJP. The seat sharing would be decided by the leaders eventually,” said Jharkhand Congress spokesperson Mohammed Tauseef.

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