No pact over Jharkhand: RJD

For UPA allies,Jharkhand is going to be as troublesome as Bihar,since the RJD has rejected the reported seat...

Written by J.P. Yadav | New Delhi | Published:March 14, 2009 10:45 pm

For UPA allies,Jharkhand is going to be as troublesome as Bihar,since the RJD has rejected the reported seat – adjustment agreement it has reached between the Congress and JMM in the tribal state.

“No agreement has been reached so far. We don’t know how the news has appeared in the media. We don’t accept it,” RJD general secretary Shyam Rajak told The Indian Express. Party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav is likely to take up the matter with partners Congress and JMM after reaching New Delhi on Thursday night.

The RJD denial follows the JMM declaration that an agreement on 12 of the 14 seats in Jharkhand was finalised between the Congress,JMM and RJD under the formula of sitting MPs getting tickets and no friendly fights. “In 2004,the UPA had won 12 of the 14 seats: Congress six,JMM four,RJD two. It has been agreed that the parties will contest their sitting seats,” JMM general secretary and MP Hemlal Murmu had said,adding the decision was taken after a meeting between JMM chief Sibu Soren,AICC in-charge K Keshav Rao and Congress screening committee chairman Mukul Wasnik.

According to sources,the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat,held by JMM’s Suman Mahto,is a bone of contention. While Lalu wants to field former Bihar cadre IPS officer Ajay Kumar,who was Patna SP when Lalu was Chief Minister,the JMM is not ready to leave the seat at any cost. The RJD also wants to contest Koderma which the Congress is eyeing. As for Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP,another UPA partner,it has announced to go it alone and contest at least six seats. It has already announced three candidates,setting the stage for a fight among UPA allies.

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