Despite indications of warming up to the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) of Babulal Marandi ahead of the Assembly elections in Jharkhand, the Congress is yet to firm up its mind on whether to contest the coming polls in alliance or alone.

In the absence of a final decision on an alliance, the Congress did not announce its candidates for the first phase of polls — scheduled for November 27 — though the central election committee of the party met and cleared a list on Monday.

As for the JVM, Mr. Marandi said the issue was still open though the party on Monday announced candidates for nine seats. Maintaining that the JVM had finalised candidatures for all the 81 seats, the first Chief Minister of the State told The Hindu that the party was waiting for the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party lists to be declared to fine-tune its own list.

About his talks with Congress leaders in the capital on Sunday, Mr. Marandi said no understanding could be reached on the number of seats each party would contest. While the JVM wants to contest 31 seats, the Congress is unwilling to concede more than 25. As to whether there were any seats which neither party was willing to give up, he said: “We couldn’t decide on the numbers, so that question is secondary.”