NEW DELHI: As West Bengal polls inch closer, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren and Mamata Banerjee seem to have buried the hatchet over his party’s electioneering in January when it was thought he may field candidates while contesting solo or with Congress in the neighbouring state.
“Didi called me on the day of my arrival in Delhi,” Soren told a few reporters over tea in Delhi on Sunday.
“She requested that JMM must come in support of the TMC in the upcoming polls in West Bengal. I have conveyed this to my party president. Upon my reaching Jharkhand, we will now decide our future. But our objective is to push back BJP and whatever is appropriate move will be taken accordingly,” the JMM leader said.
His comments assume significance as Soren’s JMM runs a coalition government with Congress and Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD). While Congress and Left parties have tied up in West Bengal, RJD has offered its support to TMC a week ago when Tejashwi Yadav had visited Mamata.
Soren’s comments are also seen as a continuous attempt to build a block of regional parties at a time when infighting in the Congress damaged its prospects in some states in the past. There is a significant tribal population, the core votebank of JMM, in West Bengal’s West Midnapore, Bankhra, Purulia and Jhargram.
Mamata had on January 28 hit out at Soren, saying she was “pained to see him campaigning in Jhargram, West Midnapore. “I had gone for his oath taking,” she had said then. She had also said that she never went to Jharkhand to campaign or contest even though many Bengalis live there.
On Sunday, Soren said his state and West Bengal administrations were frequently in touch over coordination on several issues.
“Whenever elections come, there’s always an eye on alliances. If you look at past, we (our party) had a demand that certain regions of West Bengal be part of Jharkhand. Even that of Bihar and Odisha. But, after 2000 carvation exercise, several parts remained elsewhere..”a senior party leader from his party said.
Soren though left it to his party if he will dash to West Bengal soon for any campaigning.