Trusting the Narendra Modi wave to sweep Jharkhand, the BJP has taken the risk of fielding political turncoats and novices in parliamentary politics even at the cost of seasoned leaders.
The drastic move could boomerang and mar the prospects of the party, more so in view of the shrill cries of protests ringing out from the constituencies where “devoted” leaders have been sidelined. The party has inducted Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) turncoats Bidyut Baran Mahato and Hemlal Murmu, fielding them from Jamshedpur and Rajmahal parliamentary seats respectively.
The BJP has also propped up political greenhorns like Jayant Sinha, son of BJP senior Yashwant Sinha, from Hazaribagh and former DGP Vishnu Dayal Ram from Palamu Lok Sabha seat.
So much so that the party even sidestepped former CM Arjun Munda who has represented Jamshedpur in the 15th Lok Sabha and instead opted for Bidyut Baran Mahato, the JMM legislator from Baharagora.
In the same vein, the party has replaced old guard Yashwant Sinha from Hazaribagh and incumbent MP from Rajmahal Devidhan Besra. JMM turncoat Hemlal Murmu would be fighting Rajmahal seat.
The influx of “outsiders” in the saffron fold and their candidature at the cost of experienced and “devoted party cadres” is causing resentment among party workers in Jamshedpur, Chatra, Hazaribagh and Rajmahal.
Party workers from Chatra staged protests twice outside the state party headquarters in Ranchi alleging that Sunil Singh, the party’s Chatra candidate, has no appeal and support in the constituency as they felt the seat was being wasted with his entry.
Protests have also been reported from Hazaribagh where party workers demonstrated at the residence of Yashwant Sinha. The scene is no different in Jamshedpur where senior party leader Saryu Rai has led the protests against the induction and fielding of BB Mahato who is an accused in 2012 Rajya Sabha horsetrading case.
Rai said he was surprised by the BJP parliamentary board decision and said, “My fight against the candidature of tainted leaders for the LS polls will continue.”
Though the candidature of former top cop VD Ram has not led to any protest, Ram’s experience in mainstream politics is negligible. However, the party’s prospect is unlikely to suffer as other candidates in the poll fray are comparatively weak and Ram has some appeal among a section of the voters.