JMM rejects Munda’s request not to contest by-poll

June 11th, 2011 - 7:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Ranchi, Jun 11 (IANS) Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief and the ruling alliance’s steering committee chairman Shibu Soren Saturday turned down Chief Minister Arjun Munda’s request not to field a candidate in the Jamshedpur parliamentary constituency by-poll and to support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), JMM leaders said.

Munda met Soren Saturday at his official residence in the Morabadi Grounds. According to party sources, Munda requested Soren not to field a JMM candidate in the by-poll, slated for July 1, but Soren said his party had already decided to contest. Munda left Soren’s house in just 15 minutes, the sources said.

After the meeting, Soren’s son and Deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren said the JMM would contest the by-poll but denied any problems in the ruling alliance due to his party’s decision.

Munda had cut short his US visit and arrived in Ranchi Friday with the dual objective of deciding the party candidate and of persuading Shibu Soren not to field his party nominee in the by-poll. Earlier, he was scheduled to return on Tuesday.

On his arrival, he asserted that Jamshedpur was a traditional seat of the BJP and the party would fight the poll. Later, BJP leaders authorised him to hold talks with Soren over the issue.

After Munda’s failure to dissuade Soren from fielding a JMM candidate, it seems the BJP and the JMM will campaign against each other in the by-poll.

The by-poll was necessitated after Munda quit his Lok sabha seat and got elected to the state assembly in February.

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