New Delhi: As the deadlock continued in
the talks for a pre-poll tie-up between Congress and Jharkhand
Vikas Morcha (JVM) in Jharkhand, both the parties on Tuesday came
out with their first list of candidates for the coming
assembly election, raising questions marks over the alliance.
Congress` released its first of 26 candidates today
while Marandi`s party announced the name of nine candidates
late lat night.
"We were prepared either way...In an alliance and also
outside it. We have been making preparations for Jharkhand for
a while," Congress party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told
He however, said, "till a final decision is taken (on
an alliance with JVM) talks are on".
Party sources, however, said that talks between the
two parties have reached a dead end as JVM President Babulal
Marandi was insisting on at least 31 seats while Congress was
willing to give not more than 25 seats.
"We have got feelers that if Marandi is projected as
the leader of the alliance (chief ministerial candidate), he
could settle for lesser number of seats. Congress cannot
accept this position," a senior party leader associated with
the developments in the state said.
Asked how would an alliance will fructify in the state
when JVM has already announced nine candidates and the
Congress 26, the leader said that there is still a week for
the last date of filing nominations and situations change in
politics within hours.
AICC in-charge of the state K Keshav Rao had yesterday
indicated that the party was going alone, saying, "as of now,
we are alone".
Marandi, a former BJP chief minister, who is giving
outside support to the UPA, enjoys a clean image in the state
where two former chief ministers (Shibu Soren and Madhu Koda)
are embroiled in a series of cases.
Meanwhile there was a minor fracas outside the AICC
headquarters here when ticket seekers from the state beseized
the vehicles of the state Screening Committee Chairman Mukul
Wasnik and Keshav Rao.
The ticket seekers complained about favouritism in the
exercise to select candidates.
A meeting of the Central Election Committee, chaired
by party President Sonia Gandhi was held yesterday for the
finalisation of candidates for Jharkhand.
Sources said while the names of the candidates were
finalised they were held back till today due to the last ditch
effort of the Congress to reach out to JVM to forge an
In the dissolved Assembly, Congress has eight MLAs in
the 81-member House. In the Lok Sabha elections, the party
managed to win only one of the 14 seats in the state while its
principal opponent BJP won eight.
Former ministers Stephen
Marandi, Rajendra Prasad Singh, Furkan Ansari and O P Lal are
among the first list of 26 candidates announced by Congress
today for Jharkhand assembly elections.
A meeting of the party`s Central Election Committee
for Jharkhand was held yesterday under the chairmanship of
party President Sonia Gandhi in which the names of the
candidates were finalised.
While Stephen Marandi will contest from Dumka,
Rajendra Prasad Singh will be in fray from Bermo, Furkan
Ansari in Jamtara and O P Lal from Bahgmara.
Speaker of the outgoing assembly Alamgir Khan will be
the party nominee from Pakur while CLP leader Manoj Kumar
Yadav will contest from Barhi.
Former PCC President Thomas Hansda will be the
candidate from Rajmahal and former youth Congress President of
the state Manishankar will be the nominee from Jarmundi.
Sitting MLA Gopal SN Sahdeo has been made the
candidate from Hatia while local Congress leader Pradeep
Tulsiyan will contest from Ranchi. Other sitting MLAs in the
list are Saurav Narayan Singh from Hazaribagh and Mohd Izrail
Ansari from Bokaro.
The other candidates are Anil Murmu (Litipara), Sushil
Marandi (Jama), Salauddin Ansari (Madhupur), Uday Shankar
Singh (Sarath), Sahzada Anwar (Ramgarh), Kumar Mahesh Singh
(Mandu), Sarfaraz Ahmad (Gandey), Wakil Prasad Mahto (Dumri),
Madhav Lal Singh (Gomia), Suresh Singh (Jharia), Ritika Mukhi
(Jugsalai), former Vice Chancellor of Ranchi University
Ramdayal Munda (Tamar), Roshan Surin (Khunti) and Sawna Lakra