Hemant Soren on JMM-Congress alliance: Dates for Jharkhand assembly elections are yet to be announced, however, hectic political parleys are already underway in the state. The Opposition, including the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and others have decided to take on the BJP-led NDA, but a formal seat-sharing formula is yet to be finalised.
While the BJP is most likely to contest the polls under the leadership of Chief Minister Raghubar Das, the Opposition is yet to finalise a CM face. Projecting a CM candidate is important to woo the voters and JMM chief Hemant Soren is aware of this fact. “Definitely. It takes a driver to drive the vehicle. Without a driver, how can vehicle be driven?” Soren told The Indian Express when asked whether he thinks there should a CM face.
Soren, son of veteran Jharkhand leader and former CM Shibu Soren, said that his party will play the role of the big brother in the alliance contesting more than half of the seats. Jharkhand Assembly has 82 seats out of which one seat is reserved for nominated member.
“JMM will have the larger share of seats. The leadership too will be of the JMM. We will lead the alliance. There is already an agreement in that regard. JMM will contest in more than half of the seats… We will contest in at least 45 to 46 seats,” he told the newspaper and claimed that alliance partners have already agreed to this.
In the recently concluded assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra, BJP used the nationalism pitch and went on to emerge as the single largest party in both the states. The saffron party is likely to deploy a similar narrative during Jharkhand polls due in December. Is the JMM prepared to tackle BJP’s strategy? Hemant Soren said people of the state are aware that the BJP is only misguiding them by raising issues like Article 370 abrogation.
“They deliberately try to misguide people and it is to be seen how many people will fall into that trap. States are formed to take care for the issues of that region…The problems of Jammu and Kashmir is not there in Odisha, Delhi or Jharkhand. They are misguiding the people of states by talking about nationalism or national issues. They should talk about the state’s issues,” Soren told the daily.
In 2014 Assembly elections, the BJP had emerged as the single largest party winning 37 seats. It formed the government in alliance with All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) which won five seats.