Third front formed in Jharkhand

Written by State Bureau | Jamshedpur, Aug 8 | Updated: Aug 9 2007, 06:15am hrs
In a significant political development, the Jharkhand People's Party (JPP), the Jharkhand Party (Horo), the Jharkhand Party (Naren) and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Democratic) have formed the Jharkhand Front. Jharkhand Vikas Morcha leader and former chief minister Babulal Marandi will lead the front.

According to JPP general secretary Surya Singh Besra, the front will keep an equidistance from both the NDA and the UPA.

Marandi, who is currently a member of Parliament from Koderma, has blamed parties in New Delhi for using Jharkhand 'for their own benefit' with scant concern for development of the people of the state.

Speaking at the front's first meet here on Monday, Marandi said the parties like the Congress, the BJP and the JMM were were responsible for the lack of development in Jharkhand.

The front, which promises to uproot corruption and give a clean government to the state, will field Bikas Mukherjee as its consensus candidate for by-election to the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat to be held on August 29. The seat fell vacant due to the assassination of Sunil Mahato by extremists in March this year. The Jharkhand Party (Horo) has withdrawen the candidature of Ganesh Tudu in favour of Mukerjee as a show of unity.

Marandi later told reporters that the by-election would be an acid test for the front. The former chief minister said had Suman Mahato, wife of the slain MP, stood as an independent candidate and not as a JMM one, the front would have supported her.