The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) will unfold its election strategy and announce the first list of candidates on Sunday after formally breaking away from the Congress-led alliance in the state ahead of this month’s assembly elections, party sources said on Friday.
Earlier, such a decision was expected on October 30 but had to be deferred after chief minister and JMM vice president Hemant Soren flew to Delhi to hold parleys with the Congress leadership that ended unsuccessfully.
The talks failed as the Congress demanded four seats now represented by the JMM in the assembly and some more where the party has a strong base.
“We are confident of giving (a) tough contest to the BJP and (will) announce the first list of candidates on November 2,” said party spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya.
November 5 is the last date of filing of nomination papers for the 13 seats that will go to the polls in the first phase on November 25.
Bhattacharya said the JMM has its own candidates for 78 seats.
“The party is ready to forego three-to-five seats in case willing partners supporting the Hemant Soren government are eager to join hand with us,” Bhattacharya said. He, however, ruled out the JMM trying to forge a formal alliance with any political party.
Meanwhile, sitting independent MLA from Jarmundi Hari Narayan Rai joined the JMM on Friday with former JVM (P) leader Krishna Gagrai, who had given a tough fight to former chief minister Arjun Munda from Kharsawan seat in the by-polls, scheduled to follow suit on Saturday.
Bishunpur MLA and TVNL (Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited) chairman Chamra Linda too could join the party soon.
Gagrai is likely to be the JMM candidate from Chakradharpur. Linda, who had joined the Trinamool Congress before the Lok Sabha polls, is most likely to contest the seat he represents.
Leaders from other parties who joined JMM in the recent past are Joba Manjhi, Niel Tirkey, Mangal Singh Bobonga Bahadur Oraon (former MLAs) and West Singhbhum Congress president Sukhdeo Hembram. They are likely to contest the polls for the JMM.