Pre-poll alliance talks between Cong, JVM resume

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 4, 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 4, 2009 - 23:37

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