JMM to field candidate against Munda in by-poll

Thursday, January 13, 2011

RANCHI - Stunning his coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren Thursday said his party would field its candidate against Chief Minister Arjun Munda in the Kharsawa assembly by-poll.

“Yes, my party will field a candidate in the by-poll,” Soren told reporters here when asked about his party’s stand in the crucial election.

The BJP was expecting that the JMM, being a key alliance partner, would back Munda in the by-poll.

According to BJP sources, the JMM chief’s statement is a move to force the party to give up Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat, currently held by Munda, in favour of the JMM.

The All Jharkhand Students’ Union, another partner in the alliance government, Wednesday announced its support to Munda in the by-poll slated for Feb 10.

The main opposition parties have announced they would field their candidates against Munda. The Congress, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) and other opposition parties have decided to join the fray in Kharsawa.

BJP legislator Mangal Singh Soy vacated the Kharsawa assembly seat in November to facilitate Munda to get elected. Munda became the chief minister in September last year and in compliance with the statutory requirement he has to get elected to the state assembly within six months of being sworn-in the chief minister.

The Election Commission Wednesday announced that nominations for the bypoll will begin Jan 17 and the polling will take place Feb 10. The votes will be counted Feb 17.

Munda had won the Kharsawa seat in 1995 on a JMM ticket. He joined the BJP just before the 2000 assembly polls. He again won the seat in 2000 and 2005 on the BJP ticket. In 2009 assembly elections, BJP’s Soy won the seat.

Filed under: Politics

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