Pre-poll alliance talks between Cong, JVM resume
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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 04, 2009, 23:37
New Delhi: Talks between Congress and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha which had hit a roadblock yesterday after both parties announced their first list of candidates, resumed today with the Congress indicating that it was open for an alliance.

"Talks have once again started with Babulal Marandi (President of JVM)" Jharkhand PCC chief Pradeep Balmuchu told reporters after a meeting of the Central Election Committee for the selection of rest of candidates for the upcoming elections.

The party has already announced the names of 26 candidates from the state while JVM has announced nine candidates so far in its first list.

The CEC meeting, chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi was attended by her political secretary Ahmed Patel, AICC in-charge of Jharkhand K Keshav Rao, Chairman of the Screening Committee for the state Mukul Wasnik and Balmuchu.

Earlier in the day, K Keshav Rao, when asked whether the alliance with JVM will materialise, told reporters if somebody comes he is "welcome".

AICC spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said that talks are going on for an alliance between the two parties.

"Congress has announced only 26 candidates as of now. If it (alliance) does not materialise, we will see," Ahmed added.

In the poll bound state, Congress has already dumped the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and RJD and JVM was the only option left for the party due to the clean image of Marandi in a state where several top politicians have been charged with corruption cases.

Talks broke down between Congress and the JVM after the Marandi led party asked for at least 31 seats in the state while Congress was not willing to offer more than 25 seats.

Marandi, a Santhal tribal, has a considerable following in the Santhal Paragna belt of the state from where JMM chief Shibu Soren hails.

Congress sources indicated that Marandi would be able to counter the influence of Soren in this belt if the alliance is worked out.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, November 04, 2009, 23:37

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