JMM-Congress alliance in Jharkhand collapses

Ranchi, Oct 31 (IANS) The 15-month-old alliance between the two ruling partners – the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Congress – ended Friday.

Chief Minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren who was in New Delhi for the past three days to finalise the seat sharing arrangement for the assembly polls with the Congress, returned to Ranchi. However, he did not speak to the media.
Vinod Pandey, a senior JMM leader, told reporters here Friday: “The Congress was demanding some of our current seats. We tried to continue the alliance but it did not work out.”
In New Delhi, Congress in-charge of Jharkhand B.K. Hari Prasad told reporters: “In Santhal region, there were some issues about seat sharing. We agreed to disagree.”
A large section of the Jharkhand Congress leaders are happy with the party’s decision.
“The JMM was not a natural ally of the Congress. The JMM was power hungry and it had joined hands with the BJP to get power. The RJD and the JD-U are our natural alliance partners. The party move to go with the RJD and the JD-U will boost the morale of the party workers,” Alok Dubey, Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee’s general secretary, told IANS.
After the Lok Sabha poll, the JMM had gained an edge over the Congress. The JMM had contested four of the 14 Lok sabha seats in the state and won two; the Congress did not open its account though it fought on nine seats.
For the assembly polls, the JMM was demanding 50 of the 81 seats while the Congress wanted to fight on at least 40 seats.
The assembly polls in Jharkhand will be held in five phases on Nov 25, Dec 2, 9, 14 and 20.