The Congress and former chief minister Babulal Marandi’s Jharkhand Vikas Morcha reached a 55: 19 seat sharing agreement in Jharkhand, with the two parties agreeing to friendly contests in the seven remaining seats in the state, where the five-phase election begins on November 27.
According to Kesava Rao, the Congress leader in charge of Jharkhand, the alliance would send a signal to the electorate that the combine would provide a “stable and clean government” committed to “inclusive growth and development”.
Marandi, who had earlier called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi, echoed similar sentiments at a joint press conference with Rao.
The need to project this image is considered imperative in the backdrop of corruption charges against former chief minister Madhu Koda, whose government the Congress was supporting. The state also saw six chief ministers in eight years.
The Congress isn’t quite confident of going it alone in Jharkhand, where it needs a credible tribal prop. The party hopes to get this with the JVM.
In opting for the JVM, the Congress has distanced itself from Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shibu Soren. It also chose to keep the RJD’s Lalu Prasad at an arm’s length.