Jharkhand poll: Alliance or no alliance? Congress is still clueless

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and poll: Cong still clueless
Has the Congress lost interest in fighting elections? The grand-old party, which is going through a long dark tunnel at the moment, is now facing a turmoil in Jharkhand over the question of allying with other parties for the upcoming polls. What is even worse is that the top leadership has not shown much interest in taking a call so far.

According to reports, while one section of the state Congress is in favour of ending alliance with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the regional power in the state, another wants to cement the alliance further for a better result.

Jharkhand PCC chief Sukhdeo Bhagat and former chief Pradip Balmuchu feel the party should contest alone in the five-phase election beginning on November 25 while former Union minister Subodhkant Sahay is of the opinion that the Congress will have no chance if it fights alone. The veteran leader is in favour of an alliance with JMM, JD(U) and RJD on the Bihar lines to stop the BJP, according to a report published in Anandabazaar Patrika.

But the Congress is more worried over the fact that the top leadership has not taken any interest in the matter even as time is running out. The BJP has already made its moves on the upcoming election in the state by stressing its preference for clean candidates. The Congress, led by vice-president Rahul Gandhi, is still undecided on what course to opt for. Supporters of the party are naturally upset.

According to the report, BK Hariprasad, the general secretary-in-charge of Jharkhand, is in favour of the alliance and also wants to include Nitish Kumar's JD(U), He even tried to bring in Jharkhand Vikas Morcha's (JVM) Babulal Marandi, a former BJP leader, in the alliance and wanted the grand alliance to go to the polls under the leadership of Hemant Soren, the current chief minister. Even Soren went to the capital on Tuesday to convince the Congress's high command that breaking the alliance is not the best option. But the anti-alliance camp is trying to make the Gandhis understand that Hariprasad has surrendered before the JMM.

According to the ABP report, the Congress wanted 36 seats for itself and the JMM and give the rest nine to the RJD and JD(U) in the 81-seat polling. But the JMM wants a minimum of 50 seats. Hariprasad even advised the high command to give the JMM a few more seats so that the fight against the BJP could be made stronger but the Gandhis are yet to take a call, raising the frustration level of the pro-alliance camp.

One working committee member of the Congress even suspected whether Rahul Gandhi is eager to lose in all states so that he can start from the scratch and hence is spending more time looking after the party's organisation.

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