A day after the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the dates for the high-voltage competition and imposed the model code of conduct in Bihar, JMM leadership said the party will pump all its organizational strength to improve upon its performance of 2010.
“We are not thinking of an alliance. That is well in the past. We will fight with all our strength in all the seats,” JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya said, adding that preparations have already begun and the selection of candidates is underway. However, an announcement of the candidates will only come in a phased manner after September 17, following the central committee’s nod to the names of candidates prepared by JMM’s Bihar unit.
Party sources said the 2015 polls will be the biggest attempt by the party in Bihar since the formation of Jharkhand in 2001. In 2010, JMM contested on 62 seats and won one. Sumit Kumar Singh, son of Janata Dal United (JD-U) leader won the Chakai assembly seat on a JMM ticket. “This time we aim to improve our performance from last year,” a senior leader said, adding that the party is banking on the number game to better its presence. “However, special emphasis will be given to the assembly seats adjoining Jharkhand that have a considerable tribal population. Other than that, Purnea and Katihar will be of much importance to us,” Bhattacharya said.
A central committee member said party patriarch Shibu Soren and former chief minister Hemant will campaign extensively in the tribal-dominated seats. The dates and locations of the father-son duo’s rallies are being worked out in sync with Bihar unit, the leader said.
JMM had initially shown interest in joining the RJD-JDU alliance, but received a cold shoulder from the Lalu Yadav-Nitish Kumar combine. Its talks with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for a third alliance did not produce any positive outcome.