Cong, BJP strike Jharkhand deals | india | Hindustan Times
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Cong, BJP strike Jharkhand deals

india Updated: Nov 05, 2009 23:36 IST
HT Correspondent

After days of wrangling over seat sharing, the Congress has finally managed to strike a deal with Babulal Marandi’s Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) for the coming assembly elections in Jharkhand.

As per the agreement, the Congress has left 25 out of the total 81 assembly seats for JVM and also decided to have friendly fights on six seats.

A formal announcement of the alliance was expected soon.

Despite talks, the alliance was delayed due to tough stand adopted by both the sides. While Marandi, a former BJP leader and Jharkhand’s first chief minister, was adamant on 31 seats, the Congress did not want to give him more than 25.

With the deal, the Congress has dumped its six-year old ally Jharkhand Mukti Morcha of Shibu Soren.

While a section in the Congress was of the view that the party would benefit by going alone in the assembly polls, the
party high command was keen on alliance with Marandi in view of his clean image and potential to cut BJP votes.

On the other hand, a day after the BJP and the Janata Dal(U), coalition partners in Bihar, said they were parting ways to contest on their own in neighbouring Jharkhand, they came together to announce a tie-up.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was keen on a tie-up between the two parties, prevailed on his party leaders in the neighbouring state. BJP leaders responded by agreeing to let the JD(U) contest 14 seats. Earlier, the BJP was not willing to let the JD(U) contest more than 12 seats when it wanted 18 seats.