'Grand alliance' candidates for Jharkhand 'soon'

Ranchi (IANS) Three partners of the 'grand alliance' in Jharkhand are likely to announce the candidate in the first week of April, a Congress leader said on Thursday.

Partners in grand alliance -- the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik -- had announced seat-sharing on March 24. 

The RJD, however, has already fielded its candidates from Palamau and Chatra parliamentary constituencies. The party was given only Palamau seat.

As per seat-sharing, the Congress, the JMM, the JVM-P and the RJD will contest on seven, four, two and one seat respectively.

"The names of the candidates may be announced in the first week of April," Congress spokesman Kishore Sahdeo told IANS.

Sources in the Congress say four candidates have "almost" been finalised and that final approval from the election committee is awaited. 

"Former minister Subodhkant Sahay may contest from Ranchi while another former minister and ex IPS officer Rameshwar Oraon from Lohardagga, Manoj Yadav from Chatra and Chandra Shekhar Dubey from Dhanbad," a source in Congress said. 

JVM-P President Babulal Marandi may contest from Koderma and party legislator Pradeep Yadav from Godda.

However, the JMM may again field party chief Shibu Soren from Dumka Lok Sabha seat. "Sitting MPs from Dumka and Rajmahal will get tickets," a party source said. 

"The party may field Jagganath Mahto from Giridih. A court verdict in a case is awaited on April 2. The final decision will be taken only after that," said the JMM source.

Mahto is facing trial under murder charges in the lower court.

The announcement may take place in a joint conference of the three allies. 

Jharkhand will go to polls in final four phases -- April 29, May 6, 12 and 19.

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