New Delhi: Amid internal discord within the Congress and worsening rift with its coalition alliance partner Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha, party leaders are sure that all problems will be sorted out, but the party’s “meetings”, which are expected to continue intermittently in Delhi to strengthen its organisation in the state, shows that it wants to gain leverage in the state to be in an assertive position so to be able to push for their agendas in their coalition government.
On Tuesday, the JPCC had a special meeting, where 30 leaders of the party assembled in AICC, including four ministers of the Congress, to talk about how to strengthen and focus on their block-level and district-level outreach. The party has chosen 24 observers who will watch over the smooth functioning of the party in each of the 24 districts in the state. The observers will include senior party leaders, MLAs and ministers of Congress and their focus will be on detecting inconsistencies in their respective districts.
Shakeel Akhtar Ansari, Chairman minority affairs JPCC, said, “In coming times, if the observers find any zilla president not complying with his responsibilities and acting weakly, observers then will give the top leaders their names and a process to replace them will be initiated, which will make our organisation better.”
Although steps are being taken to strengthen the party, leaders of the ruling alliance in Jharkhand are struggling to keep peace. Talking to The Sunday Guardian, Minister of agriculture and rural parliamentary affairs and CLP leader of Jharkhand, Alamgir Alam, said, “Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha is the coalition partner of Congress, but after the BJP has come into power, a game has started and wherever there is Congress coalition, the saffron party has tried to break it. Few people among them are trying to malign the coalition by talking here and there and slowly it is trying to create a weak image of the coalition among people so they could later break our alliance. This propaganda has been done since the coalition came into existence. After Bengal elections, this propaganda had slowed down, but now after winning four recent elections, the BJP is trying to step up again, yet the coalition is intact and the government will not fall, that is for sure.”
Recently, the Congress was assumed to have been facing threat in Jharkhand akin to what happened in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Rumours of 10 Congress MLAs being in touch with the BJP to join the saffron party had gained momentum where the former Congress Jharkhand in-charge R.P.N. Singh, who now is in BJP, was assumed to be wooing the Congress leaders. The rumour has now been trashed by the minister assuring that “nobody will jump ship”.
In the 81-seat Assembly of Jharkhand, coalition partners, Congress has 16 legislators, JMM has 30 and the RJD only one. The Congress called the rift with the JJM a “lack of communication” which will be solved by setting up a coordination committee, and will help the government to run its functions smoothly. “We will also undertake a ‘common minimum programme’ through which there will be a selection of issues and prioritisation of issues of the government which will be worked upon immediately,” a Congress leader said.