Two single-legislator parties merged with the Trinamool Congress in Ranchi on Monday, giving Mamata Banerjee’s party its first legislators in the Jharkhand Assembly.
They will continue to sit in the treasury benches, thus making the TMC an ally of the JMM-Congress government in the state. However, with the party saying that the arrangement will be up for review post-Lok Sabha elections, the tenure of the Hemant Soren government has come under threat.
Both Bandhu Tirkey and Chamra Linda — previously of the Jharkhand Janadikar Manch and Rashtriya Kalyan Paksha respectively — were inducted into the party in the presence of general secretary Mukul Roy. Their joining comes on the heels of Shibu Soren’s younger brother Lalu Soren leaving the JMM to go over to the TMC in February.
Tirkey, a popular tribal leader who represents Ranchi’s Mandar constituency, wants to contest Lok Sabha elections. “I have intimated the party that I would like to contest from Ranchi; Chamra wants to contest from Lohardaga. It is up to the party now,” said Tirkey said.
Roy said that the TMC, which has entered into an alliance with Surya Singh Besra’s Jharkhand People’s Party, is open to contesting in all 14 seats here. “The party’s central committee will take a call on candidatures of our new members. As of now, we are contemplating contesting from all 14 seats,” he said. Roy also indicated that the TMC is still exploring the option of entering into an alliance with Babulal Marandi’s JVM(P).