Ranchi: Ministerial aspirant Bandhu Tirkey on Sunday said he talked with Congress and had placed the terms for merger of his Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch (JJM) with the Congress.
Sources said that joining Congress could make Tirkey a probable candidate in the next cabinet expansion by Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren.
"I have talked with Congress leader BK Hariprasad (also Congress in-charge on Jharkhand affairs), and told everything. Now they have to decide upon our terms," Tirkey said on the merger of his party with the Congress.
"They think I am an independent MLA. But I have got certificate from Election Commission as JJM candidate. If I join Congress, then the entire JJM will have to join," Tirkey said.
"It depends how Congress will accommodate other leaders of our party after the merger," said Tirkey, who said he had also submitted the letter of support to the Hemant Soren government as JJM MLA.
"Everyone has aspirations," he said when asked whether his ministerial aspiration was behind the merger move.
There are three more ministerial berths after Chief Minister Hemant Soren expanded his cabinet to nine members earlier in the day.
Effective implementation of Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act, a domicile policy, tribal sub-plan and other issues pertaining to tribal welfare, Tirkey said when asked what all are the terms JJM had placed before the Congress.
Tirkey, along with other tribal and `moolwasis` (original inhabitants of Jharkhand) leaders, formed the JJM after spearheading agitation demanding a domicile policy for the tribals and moolwasis ten years ago.
Tirkey, who represents Mandar assembly constituency from 2005, twice became minister in the erstwhile Shibu Soren (for nine days in 2005) and Madhu Koda governments (2006-2008), aspires a ministerial berth.