Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 7:
The BJD president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik today formally announced plans to go for a seat sharing arrangement with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) in Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh districts where the ruling party’s support base is pretty poor.
The announcement came after a preliminary round of discussion Naveen Patnaik had with the JMM Odisha unit chief Sudam Marandi at Naveen Niwas today.
The tie-up was mooted much earlier, sources said, adding, the chief minister had shunted the only minister from Mayurbhanj Sarojini Hembram to Rajya Sabha only to appease Sudam Marandi.
The JMM leader Marandi said his party decided to have an alliance with the ruling party because it would help the growth and development of the backward Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh districts.
Asked whether the seat-sharing agreement with the BJD for the seven Assembly seats in Mayurbhanj and nine Assembly seats in Sundargarh had already been worked out, Marandi said it was too early to say anything because the discussions have just begun.
“This (seat sharing) would be done in consultation with my party members in both the districts,” he said.
IANS adds :
The pact will be in the state’s Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh districts, where the JMM has a presence, said senior BJD leader and state Panchayati Raj Minister Kalpataru Das.
“The seat adjustments would be done for only few constituencies in both the districts. It is being worked out,” he told IANS.