With party chief Shibu Soren in hospital, a rudderless Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) is yet to issue a manifesto or even begin campaigning for the elections that begin just a week from now.
When asked when the campaign would kick off, general secretary Suprio Bhattacharya said: "I am busy till April 12 with a local Bengali festival."
That would be four days before the first phase of polls on April 16. The second round of polling will take place on April 23.
"Our party chief is in hospital. His sons have no interest in the manifesto. No committee has been formed to prepare the document," said a despondent JMM leader, adding that the party had always put forward its policies and views in the party document earlier.
But the party officially still maintains that a manifesto will be issued.
"We cannot say when the manifesto will be announced. When we come out with one, we will inform you," said Shailendra Bhattacharya, an official in the JMM's central committee.
He insisted that the candidates were "campaigning in their respective constituencies".
Former Jharkhand chief minister and JMM chief Shibu Soren has been admitted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) in New Delhi for the last two-and-a-half months. His eldest son Durga Soren has alienated the party and ally Congress with his insistence on fighting elections from the Godda Lok Sabha seat.
The vacuum at the top could be very damaging for the JMM, which is fighting eight Lok Sabha seats, fear party workers. The party had five MPs in the last Lok Sabha, four from Jharkhand's 14 seats.