JMM legislators unhappy about poll pact with UPA partners

March 16th, 2009 - 3:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, March 16 (IANS) Legislators of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Monday said they were against any poll pact with their partners in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for the Lok Sabha elections if the JMM was not allowed to form the government in Jharkhand.
“Our party had decided not to form an alliance with any UPA partners if our government was not formed in the state. We had authorised our party chief to take the final decision. There are reports that a seat-sharing formula has been worked out with UPA partners. We will clarify the party stand after meeting Shibu Soren,” Mathura Prasad Mahto, the party’s chief whip, told reporters after a party meet.

Nine JMM legislators met at Mahto’s residence here and decided that a five-member team of party legislators would leave for New Delhi later Monday to meet party chief Shibu Soren, who is undergoing treatment there.

The legislators are unhappy at the party chief’s decision to enter a poll pact with the UPA partners. JMM has finalised a seat-sharing agreement with the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). As per the agreement, JMM will contest four seats, Congress six and RJD two seats. Candidates for two seats would be decided later. Jharkhand has 14 Lok Sabha seats, where polling will be held April 16 and 23.

“We were shocked to know that a seat-sharing formula has been worked out with the Congress and RJD. A majority of the party legislators are unhappy with the decision. It was Congress and RJD that did not support our party nominee as the next chief minister,” a JMM legislator said on condition of anonymity.

Early last week, JMM Lok Sabha MP Hemlal Murmu had announced that the seat share had been worked out and the JMM will remain a part of UPA. However, three days later, Shibu Soren’s eldest son Durga Soren denied that any seat-share had been finalised.

Shibu Soren had quit the chief minister’s post Jan 12 after losing a key assembly by-election Jan 8. The state is now under president’s rule.

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