INDIA bloc will win at least eight seats in the state: Mir - Hindustan Times
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INDIA bloc will win at least eight seats in the state: Mir

By, Ranchi
Jun 03, 2024 10:00 PM IST

Mir said a decision will be taken over arrested Alamgir Alam’s ministerial berth after the Lok Sabha election process is over

A day before the votes of Lok Sabha elections are counted on Tuesday, Ghulam Ahmed Mir, in charge of Jharkhand Congress, claimed the INDIA bloc would win at least eight seats in the state. In an interview, he spoke over a host of issues, including equations with allies, party action against jailed minister Alamgir Alam and the possibility of any overhaul in the state unit. Edited excerpts:

Ghulam Ahmed Mir, in charge of Jharkhand Congress (HT Photo)
Ghulam Ahmed Mir, in charge of Jharkhand Congress (HT Photo)

Votes are to be counted today. What is your assessment of INDIA alliance prospects in Jharkhand?

Going by the feedback from the ground and the alliance partners, we are in the fight in all 14 Lok Sabha seats.

But you must have done some realistic assessment.

We are set to win at least eight seats in the state. We will surely win 8 to 10 seats.

What are the issues you think that people have voted for you?

There are a host of regional and national issues. Local issues like the Sarna code, the arrest of Hemant Soren, and the biased approach of the Centre against Jharkhand while disbursing funds have resonated with people, who have seen how even PM Awas funds were not given, forcing the state to launch its housing scheme. Since this was a national election, we have received support from people for the guarantees promised by us, such as those for women and youth. Additionally, the way Congress came out strongly pledging to protect the Constitution, also helped us.

While you are hopeful of doing well in the state, we saw a lot of controversy within the party and among the alliance related to seat sharing and even during the campaign.

Barring a few incidents, I can confidently say that the Congress cadre and the alliance partners have worked in unison. In seat sharing, the Left got one seat, and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) got five seats, one more than last time. This time Singhbhum went to JMM. That was on merit and not under any pressure. Our sitting Singhbhum MP left the party. There were five JMM MLAs in that constituency. They had that natural claim. There was some confusion with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which was claiming two seats, Palamu and Chatra, but ultimately that was sorted. Once the candidates were announced, we ran a united and spirited campaign.

But Congress also had to change a candidate in Godda.

Yes, that was done due to some feedback. But once Deepika Pandey Singh was replaced with Pradeep Yadav, even she gave her best. She campaigned all along for the candidate, in fact, better than what she would have done had she been in the fray. Some issues arose in Chatra as well, but everything was sorted.

One issue which BJP got to corner the alliance and Congress was the arrest of minister Alamgir Alam by ED. Has the party decided whether he would continue or resign?

A decision will be taken over it after the Lok Sabha election process is over. We will discuss this with alliance leaders. However, we also need to see how his arrest was made. Why was he served notice once the model code had set in? He responded to the notice. On the first day, they (ED) told him he would be given time as the electioneering had started. But I wonder what conspired later in the night, and he was arrested the next day. Maybe they were pressured from above. So, we also gave ourselves time to assess the situation. We will take a measured decision after the Lok Sabha election process is over.

Now that the LS election process is over, will we see some changes in the party’s state unit, especially given the assembly elections?

I can say for sure that we have a very structured state unit from the block to the state level. That helped us in the campaign. That is lacking in some other state units. However, we will assess the performance of the Lok Sabha elections assembly-wise. The alliance has 48 MLAs in a house of 81. Additionally, we will also assess other assembly segments where we have a strong presence. That will have a bearing on our decisions related to the assembly.

Will we see a change in the organisation, including the PCC chief?

We will make changes wherever required. Other things also need to be factored in for such decisions, including social demography. We have been votaries of ‘jiski jitni sankhya, uski utni hissedaari’ (proportional representation).

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