JMM-Congress alliance will field joint candidate, no discord in ruling alliance: Hemant Soren

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Sunday said the ruling alliance in the state will field a joint candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat, which is likely to win, and dismissed suggestions that there was any difference of opinion with ally Congress. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader, however, did not say whether the candidate would be from his party or the Congress and said that the name would be announced from Ranchi.

Talking to reporters here, Soren said that he was visiting Delhi to discuss the Rajya Sabha elections after the JMM Legislature Party meeting on Saturday. “In the battle for the Rajya Sabha elections, it was important to talk to the people of the other coalition parties, especially the Congress. I met Sonia Gandhi ji yesterday and we discussed for more than an hour on several issues including her candidature for the Rajya Sabha elections.

“There is agreement on some issues and I think it will be implemented on the ground. There will be one candidate from the coalition side in the state. Stay with us as it will take us some more time to take this issue to its conclusion. An announcement in this regard will be made in Jharkhand.” Asked about the candidate’s party, Soren said the answer would be known to everyone once the candidate is announced.

Asked about reports of unease in the alliance, he said, “I don’t know, who said this. I have never felt like this.” Referring to his meeting with Sonia Gandhi on Saturday, he said, “I have not seen any such thing within the government and if it had happened, there would have been no discussion with the Congress President for more than an hour. On a few occasions when the Congress agitated against the state government, Soren termed it as petty issues that keep arising in a household.

Voting will be held in two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand as the tenure of Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and BJP MP Mahesh Poddar ends on July 7. The last date for filing nominations is May 31, while voting will be held on June. 10. The JMM has 30 members in the state assembly, while the Congress has 17 MLAs. The main opposition BJP has 26 MLAs. The Congress has been seeking JMM’s support for its candidate, while a JMM spokesperson said on Saturday that the party has decided to field its candidate.

Soren also hit out at the Center over the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids in the state in connection with the alleged MGNREGA scam. “We know very well the position of the central agencies in the country. I am co-related with Shahrukh Khan’s son’s NCB case Aryan Khan For action by Enforcement Directorate in Jharkhand in Mumbai. “You know the context of the ED’s action… Even after 20-25 days, nothing is available on the ED’s website nor has anything been made public as to what they found in it,” he said. .

When asked about the various challenges he faced, Soren said, “They try as much as they can, but will not be able to harm even a single hair of my head.” Asked whether the coalition government would complete its term, he said, “Sher ka beta hi lion hoga” and emphasized on the fighting spirit of the tribals. Soren also said that the Center owes about Rs 1,36,000 crore, out of which the state got only a small amount after it came to power.

The Jharkhand Chief Minister also slammed the Center on the issue of GST and said the state’s resources are limited. Asked whether he would coordinate with other non-BJP states on such issues, he replied in the affirmative.

Soren also called for publication of caste census details and supported the demand that such an exercise be carried forward.

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