Congress pacifies Marandi to seal opposition alliance in Jharkhand

Ranchi (IANS) The Congress has stepped up its efforts to pacify former Chief Minister and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) President Babulal Marandi to seal the opposition alliance for the Lok Sabha polls.

Last week, the Congress and the JMM had announced finalising the seat-sharing formula in Jharkhand. JVM-P stayed away from the seat-sharing formula. "We will fight the Godda Lok Sabha seat at any cost," Marandi had said after the seat-sharing announcement was made.

On Wednesday, Jharkhand Congress President Ajay Kumar met Marandi at Giridih district. Both leaders held a closed door meeting.

"Marandi is a mature leader. Our talks were held in a positive environment," said Ajay Kumar to reporters.

According to the seat-sharing formula, the Congress will contest from seven seats; JMM will contest from four seats; JVM-P will contest from two seats; and the RJD will fight from one seat.

JVM-P General Secretary Pradeep Yadav wants to fight the Lok Sabha polls from the Godda seat. Pradeep Yadav had fought for the rights of the land owners against land acquisition in Godda district. He was sent to jail for several months.

Congress sources say that the party in charge R.P.N. Singh is also in touch with Marandi and trying to convince him to give up the Godda seat demand in the interest of the opposition alliance.

Till now, JVM-P has not agreed to give up the Godda seat. 

The Congress and the JMM may have agreed to fight the polls together but seat-sharing is still an issue between both parties. Both, Congress and JMM want to fight the Jamshedpur and Chaibasa seats. Congress wants to field its state President Ajay Kumar from Jamshedpur and Geeta Koda, wife of former Chief Minister Madhu Koda, from Chiabasa seat.

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