The BJP on Monday announced an electoral alliance with All Jharkhand Student’s Union, a regional outfit of Jharkhand, for the forthcoming assembly election. Eying return to power in the tribal state, the BJP agreed to leave 8 assembly seats for the party led by former deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahato. The AJSU has base among the politically crucial and land holding Kurmis of Jharkhand.
“We were planning an alliance with parties with positive thoughts...the alliance talks with AJSU reached to a conclusion today...we are confident of getting two third majority,” BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav told reporters. HT had on Thursday reported that the two parties may join hands before polls.
The BJP has already announced names of 63 candidates and announced to leave Ramgarh, Silli, Jugsalari, Silli, Barkagaon and Lohardaga seats for AJSU. Decision on remaining two seats to be left for AJSU will be taken later, Yadav said. Jharkhand Assembly has 81 seats.
The Monday development is a marked departure from the BJP’s go-solo strategy that yielded good returns in Maharashtra and Haryana poll. It had dumped 25-year-old ally Shiv Sena just ahead of the poll and had also ended its electoral pact with Kuldeep Bishnoi in Haryana.
Interestingly, state BJP leaders had recently announced to field candidate in all 81 seats, but got overruled by the central leadership. BJP’s internal assessment too had indicated that AJSU would have been a spoiler for the BJP on nearly half a dozen seats. “The party does not want to lose its winning streak. With a divided opposition, the BJP-AJSU stood a greater chance of winning with a huge margin,” a BJP leader said.
The ruling JMM and Congress have failed to stitch up an alliance while former chief minister Babulal Marandi’s Jharkhand Vikas Morcha and Trinamool Congress have come together for the polls