Jharkhand opposition parties agree to fight LS polls in alliance

Ranchi (IANS) The opposition parties in Jharkhand have agreed to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha polls by forming an alliance, a state Congress official said here on Monday.

The four opposition parties are the Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P).

"The initial round of talks have taken place in New Delhi. The Congress, JMM, RJD and JVM-P have agreed in principle to fight the polls together. The second round of talks will take place in the last week of this month also in New Delhi to finalize on seat sharing," Kishore Sahdeo, the state's Congress spokesperson, told IANS. 

JMM General Secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya said: "We have agreed to fight the Lok Sabha polls in alliance to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The seat sharing will be decided in the coming days."

The Congress and JMM had cemented an alliance for the first time in Jharkhand in 2004 and won 13 of the 14 seats. 

The Congress, JMM and RJD had also fought in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in an alliance but it did not make much impact. 

The BJP had alone won 12 out of the 14 Lok Sabha seats that year.

Meanwhile, Congress sources said that the Left parties have also approached them to become part of the alliance. 

"The role of the Left parties in the alliance is not clear. The central party leaders will decide over the issue," a party source told IANS.

The JMM is the biggest opposition party in the Jharkhand Assembly with 18 seats. 

JMM wants the opposition parties to accept party Executive President and former Chief Minister Hemant Soren as the Chief Ministerial candidate for next year's Assembly polls.

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