Jharkhand BJP MLA joins Congress ahead of polls

Jharkhand BJP MLA joins Congress ahead of polls Ranchi/Hazaribag, Nov 10 (PTI) Former BJP MLA fromJharkhand's Barhi constituency, Uma Shankar Akela, on Sundayjoined the Congress ahead of the Assembly polls in the state.

Akela joined the Congress in New Delhi in the presenceof AICC in-charge RPN Singh and Jharkhand Pradesh CongressCommittee president Rameshwar Oraon, Hazaribag districtCongress leader Devraj Kushwaha said.

Kushwaha claimed that Akela joined the Congress afternot being given a BJP ticket from Barhi Assembly seat in theupcoming elections in the state.

Akela had won the Barhi seat in the 2009 Assemblyelections, but lost in the 2014 polls to Manoj Yadav of theCongress.

Yadav has recently joined the BJP and got a ticketfrom the seat.

Akela is hoping to contest the elections from Barhiseat on a Congress ticket, party sources said.

Polling will be held in Barhi seat on December 12.

The five-phase polling to 81 seats in the stateAssembly will begin on November 30 and end on December 20.

Counting of the votes will take place on December 23.

Meanwhile, NDA's ally AJSU Party is scheduled to meetthe BJP leadership on Sunday night to discuss seat-sharing, aparty leader said.

When asked about the number of seats AJSU Party willdemand from the BJP, party president Sudesh Mahto told PTIthat the details will be disclosed following the meeting.

Mahto, a former deputy chief minister, said his partywill announce its manifesto on November 14.

Earlier in the day, the BJP announced its first listof 52 candidates for the Assembly polls in the state. PTI CORRPVRACD ACD