Jharkhand Assembly Election 2019: BJP going solo for first time in state
Jharkhand Assembly Election 2019: The BJP on Wednesday night announced candidates for seven more seats, thus declaring nominees for 79 assembly seats in the 81-member assembly, besides declaring support for one independent in Hussainabad seat.Updated: Nov 22, 2019 14:15 IST
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Jharkhand has decided to go solo in the upcoming assembly elections, a first since the creation of the state as it had fought all three state polls — in 2005, 2009 and 2014 — in a pre-poll pact with one party or the other.
The BJP on Wednesday night announced candidates for seven more seats, thus declaring nominees for 79 assembly seats in the 81-member assembly, besides declaring support for one independent in Hussainabad seat.
The party, however, has refrained from declaring candidate from Silli assembly seat, from where AJSU Party chief Sudesh Mahto is in the fray, keeping the window for post poll alliance open with the regional party.
In 2014, the BJP had contested 72 of the 81 seats in the state, AJSU Party fought eight while LJP got single seat, Shikaripara. However, this time round, the NDA has spilt vertically. With the BJP not accepting demand of granting six seats, the LJP has announced to field candidates on 50 seats. Though the BJP and AJSU Party did not formally announce the break-up, the two parties have already announced their candidates, with 30 being against each other. AJSU Party has announced candidates on 31 seats in total and is preparing to name more. In 2005 and 2009, the BJP had a pre-poll alliance with the Nitish Kumar-led Janta Dal (United). In 2014, the saffron party had a pre-poll alliance with Sudesh Mahto led AJSU Party and Ram Vilas Paswan-led Jok Janshakti Party (LJP).
Political analysts say while there may have been differences between BJP and AJSU that led to the divorce between the two parties, the mannerism of split hints at a “strategic” understanding.
“First, they did not announce the break-up formally. Then the BJP has not fielded candidate against Sudesh Mahto in Silli where he has lost last two elections. The AJSU has returned the favour by not fielding a candidate against CM Raghubar Das where he is facing a rebellion from his own cabinet colleague (Saryu Roy),” said LK Kundan, who teaches political science.
“Also leaders of the two parties are not targeting each other in public. All this shows, there is some sort of understanding between the two parties, especially a post-poll scenario in case of a fractured mandate,” he added.
While the BJP state unit leaders have remained tight-lipped over the issue, Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday said: “The silence maintained by us on the issue could be pre-decided or strategic. We need not reveal all that in media.”
The AJSU Party on Thursday refused to accept that they have deliberately did not fielded candidate against Das. “We are fielding candidates only in the seats where we have a strong organisational base and where we think we can win. Since elections happening in phases, we will announce more candidates,” said Devsharan Bhagat, AJSU leader.
With spilt in NDA, the scenario has reversed for BJP as compared to the 2014 polls.
However, this year, the JMM, Congress and RJD are fighting together even as the NDA is a divided house.
“In 2014, the BJP-AJSU combine managed to get a simple majority. But the situation in 2019 could severely dent BJP’s prospects as the JMM, Congress and RJD together have weaved an alliance that is functioning smoothly,” said Kundan.