Pact with JMM stays, says Congress

March 21st, 2009 - 2:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, March 21 (IANS) The Congress said Saturday that its seat sharing pact for the Lok Sabha election was on with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), brushing aside JMM leader Durga Soren’s statement to the contrary.
Kishav Rao, the Congress leader in charge of Jharkhand, told IANS from New Delhi: “The JMM is still part of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) and the seat sharing issue has been finalised with (JMM chief) Shibu Soren.”

Durga Soren, the eldest son of Shibu Soren, has claimed that the JMM would field candidates in all the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand.

Rao said: “We (Congress) are not bothered with what Durga Soren says. Shibu Soren is with us. He was sitting with me when he announced the seat sharing with our party.”

On Friday, Durga Soren said that the Congress had betrayed the JMM and it would fight all the seats in Jharkhand on its own.

Asked about the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) threat to contest on six Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand, Rao said: “Talks are on with RJD leaders.”

While deciding the seat-sharing issue, the Congress and JMM sidelined RJD in the state. The Congress and JMM announced they would field candidates in seven and five seats respectively.

That happened after the RJD and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) divided most of Bihar’s 40 Lok Sabha seats among themselves, leaving just three for the Congress. The Congress gave only two seats to the RJD in Jharkhand.

The Lok Sabha polls will be held in Jharkhand April 16 and 23.

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