Cong supports R K Anand in RS poll tomorrow

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Ranchi, Mar 25 (UNI) Setting at rest all speculations, the Congress tonight directed its party MLAs to vote for Supreme Court lawyer R K Anand, one of the four contestants for tomorrow's biennial elections to two Rajya Sabha seats in Jharkhand.

With this, inner squabbles in the UPA allies in the state came to the fore as the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) had already fielded Kishori Lal, former MP, as their candidate.

JMM president Sibu Soren told UNI that he had nothing to say about the Congress decision as he was more interested in keeping the UPA spirit intact.

The Congress sources said the party was trying to convince the JMM leadership to vote for Mr Anand, adding hectic parleys were on to make a headway.

CWC member and in-charge of the Congress state affairs Ajay Maken told UNI over phone that after a lot of deliberation with all nine party MLAs, the Central leadership decided to go with the ''majority wishes'' in this regard.

''Directions were issued to all of them and I talked to the nine MLAs personally to convey the message,'' Mr Maken said.

Asked if the MLAs decided to defy, the CWC member asserted that the decision was a ''wish of theirs only'' and hence there was no question of defiance.

The latest move of the Congress to rally behind Mr Anand was seen as a ploy to halt the sweep of the NDA as BJP nominee Jaiprakash Singh Narayan was almost certain to bag one seat, while the division of votes in the UPA might spoil their chance for the other seat.

UNI PRS SJC PK GC2052

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