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Jharkhand: Congress to contest 7 seats after deal with JMM

Source: PTI
March 18, 2009 16:11 IST
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Smarting under Bihar snub, the Congress on Wednesday struck back at the Rashtriya Janata Dal by sewing up a seat sharing agreement with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Jharkhand, leaving Lalu Prasad just two seats his party had won in the last elections.

A day after Lalu's RJD and Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party unilaterally got into a deal in Bihar leaving a paltry three seats for the party, the Congress and the JMM on Wednesday announced a pact under which they would contest seven and five seats respectively.

Jharkhand has a total of 14 seats. "We have finalised the seat sharing agreement. Congress will contest 7 and JMM 5. We have left two seats for RJD," the All India Congress Committee in-charge for Jharkhand K Keshav Rao told media persons.

The agreement negates an earlier understanding under which the Congress was supposed to contest only six seats while the RJD was to contest three seats. Sources said the bone of contention was the Koderma seat which both the Congress and RJD wanted to contest.

The seat was won in the last Lok Sabha elections by former Bharatiya Jnata Party leader Babu Lal Marandi, who retained it as an independent in a by-poll later.

The Hazaribagh seat was last time won by the Communist Party of India, which is not a  part of the United Progressive Alliance this time. Hence, the JMM will be contesting this seat. Apart from these two seats, the remaining 12 are sitting seats of three parties.

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