Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has been requested by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to campaign for her in the West Bengal Assembly elections and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha will take a decision on this soon keeping in mind the objective of giving a pushback to the BJP's poll prospects, a senior JMM leader said on March 7.
The development assumes significance as the JMM is an alliance government with the Congress in Jharkhand and the Sonia Gandhi-led party has tied up with the Left and the Indian Secular Front in West Bengal against the BJP and the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
After the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Samajwadi Party and the Shiv Sena, Ms. Banerjee had said last week that the TMC has received support from the JMM and the Nationalist Congress Party for the Assembly polls.
In West Bengal, communication keeps happening with Ms. Banerjee as being in neighbouring States, issues are regularly discussed, a senior JMM leader said on condition of anonymity.
"It was our demand that some regions of West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha should have been made part of Jharkhand as they had been part of the movement for the State, but in 2000 the borders that were created, some areas were left out," the leader said.
"As a result, you would see that in West Bengal's tea gardens, a majority of the people are from Jharkhand. So, we do have an influence there," the leader said.
The TMC chief has asked the Jharkhand Chief Minister to campaign for her, the JMM leader said, adding that party chief Shibu Soren has been informed about the request.
The leader said a decision will soon be taken on it by the party.
"But the target is fixed that the BJP has to be given a pushback there and a decision will be taken keeping that in mind," the leader said.
The JMM leader also slammed the Centre on various issues such as high fuel prices, farm laws and treatment meted out to farmers. The leader also alleged that it seems cooperative federalism is left only on name.
Significantly, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav had also thrown his party's weight behind Ms. Banerjee and appealed to Biharis domiciled in West Bengal to rally behind the Chief Minister in the elections.
RJD is also part of the Jharkhand government headed by Hemant Soren.
Elections to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.