Jharkhand, where assembly elections are due soon, has become a different cup of tea for the Congress.
The party is not able to decide with whom it should align or whether it should go solo as it did successfully in Uttar Pradesh during the Lok Sabha polls.
The tribal state poses a puzzle for the party which has never won a majority there ever since it was carved out of Bihar in 2000. Jharkhand is presently under President’s Rule and the Central government has assured Parliament that assembly polls will be held in the state after the Monsoon.
A five—member committee of the Congress visited the state recently at the direction of party President Sonia Gandhi to assess the ground situation and find out with whom the party should align. The committee is expected to submit its report to Gandhi in a few days.
The members of the committee could not find any unanimity on whether the party should align with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) or Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM), headed by Babulal Marandi.
In the last Lok Sabha elections, the party had entered into an alliance with the JMM, dumping the RJD. Marandi, who is the only MP from his party, offers outside support to the UPA government.
“There are divergent views. We will take a position soon,” a senior party leader said.