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Opposition likely to unite against BJP in Jharkhand assembly bypoll
Ranchi, March 15 (IANS) Taking lessons from the Uttar Pradesh elections, the opposition parties in the Littipara assembly bypoll are likely to unite as the ruling BJP is working hard to dent the bastion of the main opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).
The notification of the assembly bypoll that is scheduled on April 9 was issued on Tuesday.
In a move to unite the opposition, Jharkhand Congress president Sukhdeo Bhagat met leader of opposition and executive president of JMM, Hemant Soren, on Tuesday and explored the option of alliance during the assembly bypoll.
"Our president met Hemant Soren so that opposition parties should explore possibilities to ensure defeat of the BJP," Alok Dubey, Jharkhand Congress general secretary told IANS.
The JMM is holding the seat since 1977 but has been vacant since its legislator Anil Murmu’s death in January this year.
Asked about supporting the JMM candidate in the bypoll, Dubey said: "The central leaders will be apprised about the ground situation and the final decision will be taken by the central leaders. We can say that we will not give any chance to BJP. The seat should remain in the UPA fold."
The BJP too on the other hand is weighing all its options and looking for a suitable candidate who can win in the JMM bastion.
Sources in the BJP said the Chief Minister Raghubar Das and party president Lakshman Gilua have discussed the issue.
BJP may finalise the candidate in a day or two. Hemlal Murmu who had joined BJP in 2014 is believed to be the most probable candidate for BJP. Murmu was in JMM till 2014.
According to a senior leader, the JMM is likely to field Basant Soren — younger brother of Hemant Soren — from one of its stronghold areas.
But an official announcement in this regard is yet to be made by the party. However, BJP sources also said that if JMM fields Basant Soren, then the party may opt to field wife of late JMM legislator Anil Murmu.
Congress may support the JMM candidate but another opposition, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) has not opened its mind.
This bypoll will take place after Raghubar Das government made amendment in the two land acts — Chotangpur Tenancy Act and Sanrhal Pargana Tenancy Act — allowing the use of agriculture land for non-agricultural purposes.