State Cong coalition cry in Delhi

New Delhi, Feb. 6: A group of state Congress leaders met their seniors here today urging them to push for formation of a new coalition in Jharkhand, with the despairing bunch told to wait longer for the high command to reconsider a fresh alliance with the JMM.

On their second trip to the capital in the last three weeks to impress upon the Congress leadership that the party should not "lose out on an opportunity like this", they insisted that joining hands with the JMM was the only "viable option" under the present circumstances.

The section of state Congress leaders, whose discomfiture is seemingly growing with the steady tenure of President's Rule, included legislators Geeta Shree Oraon, Saurabh Narayan Singh, Banna Gupta, Anant Pratap Deo and Rajesh Ranjan.

They met the likes of Digvijaya Singh and the party's Jharkhand in-charge Shakeel Ahmed. Sources said they also sought an appointment with Congress president Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmad Patel.

On the other hand, state Congress president Pradeep Balmuchu called on party stalwarts separately and apprised them of the sentiments of local leaders.

Ahmed confirmed that most of the MLAs were keen that the party came forward to explore the possibility of government formation in the state but added that at the higher level, opinions were divided.

"Many MLAs are of the view that we should join hands with the JMM in Jharkhand, but the final decision is still due. We are expecting a meeting soon with party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi over the issue. For now, nothing is certain," he said.

While the Congress has 13 seats in the 82-member Jharkhand Assembly, JMM and RJD have 18 and 5 respectively.

With Independent MLAs by their side, the Congress and JMM are expected to reach the majority number (42) required to form government in Jharkhand. "It's been close to a month now that the Assembly has been under President's Rule. We now expect executive powers to be handed back to the elected representatives. Now, the focus should on entering into a partnership with the JMM and others to end the crisis," said an MLA, requesting anonymity.

Another MLA added that "expectations and apprehensions" of state Congress leaders had been conveyed to the party leadership and now it was up to the latter to take a final call.

"We have had a long meeting with our seniors here and have told them what the general mood in the state wing is like. Now, we have left the final judgement on the high command," he said.

Party insiders maintained that even as divergent opinions were emerging within, a majority backed a long-term policy on coalition with JMM.

"While JMM is an ally at the Centre, the leadership is in two minds on joining hands with it in Jharkhand. We, therefore, want that a policy is worked out keeping in mind the next Lok Sabha and Assembly elections," an MLA told The Telegraph.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bangalore lose nerve, lose game

Bangalore lose nerve, lose game

IPL 7, GAME 11—Vinay's over, Lynn's catch turns last-over finish in KKR's favour. More »

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting the IPL as a means of protest against the grime in the game may not yield the desired results. More »

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

IPL 7, GAME 10—Chennai beat Rajasthan by 7 runs after last-over scare. More »

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gautam made an eight-ball duck in the opening game against Mumbai and in the second game against Delhi, he lasted only half those balls. More »

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

The group opposed to Srinivasan alleged that since BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel belongs to the president’s group, he was intentionally delaying the SGM… More »

April 24: A legend is born

As Sachin Tendulkar turns 41 - here's a look at some offbeat moments from the Master Blaster's innings. More »

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

Sri Lanka depart for assignments in Ireland and England in two weeks, and Sanath Jayasuriya suggested Marvan Atapattu would be interim head coach for those… More »

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was… More »

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Herath has been rested, while the team will be without the veteran pair of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, who retired from T20 internationals… More »

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

Dalmiya said that it was the first time that the BCCI had been faced with a situation where the apex court had hauled up the Board and it should have acted… More »

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

The ECB continued the restructuring of the England coaching set-up on Wednesday by announcing the appointment of Paul Farbrace as assistant coach. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

The pay dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and its 13 contracted players ended on Wednesday when the latter agreed to accept 10 percent of the participation… More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Dwayne Bravo is set to be sidelined for at least four weeks due to a shoulder problem. Bravo sustained the injury when attempting a catch on the boundary… More »