BJP-AJSU alliance in Jharkhand on the rocks

Ranchi/New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a new alliance problem in Jharkhand. Even as it was just going through an ugly divorce with its decades-old ally Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) has fielded its own candidates in at least three constituencies where the BJP, its ally has already announced candidates.

The 81-member Jharkhand Assembly is set to go for a five-phase election from November 30 to December 20. The counting of votes will take place on December 23.

AJSU, the ruling NDA constituent, named 12 of its candidates on Monday and said that the final list of the candidates will be announced on Tuesday for the upcoming state Assembly elections.

The party spokesperson Deosharan Bhagat said, “Party supremo, Sudesh Mahto will contest from Silli, Sunita Chaudhary wife of Giridih MP, Chandraprakash Chaudhary will contest from Ramgarh, MLA from Husainabad Kushwaha Sheopujan Mehta to contest from the same seat, Lambodar Mahto to be the party candidate from Gomia, Roshanlal Chaudhary, former AJSU Party candidate from Barkagaon to contest from the same seat.”

This will contest from the Jugsalai seat, Manoj Chandra is a candidate from Simaria, Sadanand Mahto to contest from Sindari and Ramlal Munda will be a candidate from Chakradharpur, Bhagat added.

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On the other hand, BJP has also announced its candidates for Simaria, Chakardharpur, and Sindri in its first list of 52 candidates on Sunday. The party has decided to file Chief Minister Raghuvar Das from Jamshedpur East.

In the 2014 Assembly elections, BJP had contested from 72 seats and had won 37 seats, whereas AJSU from eight seats but could win five seats.

In a move to settle the alliance, AJSU president Sudesh Mahto had met BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi on Sunday late night. Mahto had informed Shah about the party point of view.

“Not only seat-sharing there are some issues that need to be addressed. We have shared our point of view with BJP president” said Mahto after the meeting.

BJP is likely to come with the second list of the candidates on Tuesday. In the first list, the party had preferred to avoid disputed seats with AJSU.

With the announcement of its candidates by the AJSU, BJP is likely to field its candidates from Chandankyrai and LOhardagga.

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“Now there is the least chance of an alliance with AJSU. The state and central leadership are now not in contact with AJSU. Party may announce the second list by Tuesday evening” said a source in BJP to IANS.

Interestingly, this development comes in the backdrop of the ugly spat between the Shiv Sena and BJP that followed with its minister Arvind Sawant resigning from the union cabinet on Monday and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray dialing Congress’s interim chief Sonia Gandhi seeking support.

As in Maharashtra, in Jharkhand too, the matter boiled down to an ego issue with both sides hardening their stand and refusing any negotiation.

November 13 is the last day for filing nominations for the first phase of polling in Jharkhand election. With one day left, will the BJP-AJSU be able to sort it out or will the saffron party, as it is tipped, brazen it out and challenge AJSU by releasing another list of candidates, taking it to a point of no return?

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