Even before the result is out, differences have begun to surface in the Congress-Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) alliance in Jharkhand, which witnessed the last phase of polling in the state on April 24.
The verbal diatribes among the JMM and the Congress leaders have raised questions over the continuation of alliance. The first discordant note came from JMM leader and Tundi legislator Mathura Mahto, who reiterated his earlier stand that the JMM should have contested 10 seats and the Congress 4, and not the other way around.
“We have greater organisational strength and synergy than the Congress in the state. Now, the ball is in the Congress court whether to go in league with us or not. Going alone, we had bagged 18 seats in 2009 assembly elections,” Mahto said.
“We have abided by the alliance dharma and it is the Congress’ turn now. Congress should realise and maintain transparency on this count,” Mahto said.
He also made it clear “if the Congress does not see the reality and rationale, the JMM will go it alone”.
State Congress president Sukhdeo Bhagat said, “Greater share of assembly seats in the elections might be JMM’s view. It would be inappropriate and premature to respond at this juncture.”
Former Congress legislator Radha Krishna Kishore, however, had a different take on the issue.
“Congress had made it clear at the time of alliance that the arrangement was only for the general elections. Personally, I was against the alliance from the outset. Senior party leaders like Chandra Shekhar Dubey and Stephen Marandi have left the party. The party would have to reconsider whether it wants its flock together or the alliance at the cost of it,” he said.
JMM central general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya said, “Circumstances at the time of elections would dictate the arrangements (alliance). State issues dictate assembly elections. Perception of regional and national parties differs on state elections and is often polls apart.”
The RJD, the third party in the alliance, has maintained a studied silence.