JD (U) makes seat swap offer to BJP for Jharkhand assembly bypolls
JD-U also claimed that teh strategy would pave the way for reorganization and revamping the NDA in Jharkhand and also enable it to win the upcoming Bihar assembly elections easily.Updated: Aug 30, 2020, 18:26 IST
The Jharkhand unit of the Janata Dal (United) on Sunday offered a seat swapping formula for the bypolls to Dumka and Bermo assembly seats in the state to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
JD-U also claimed that this would pave the way for reorganization and revamping the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Jharkhand and also enable it to win the upcoming Bihar assembly elections easily.
The two parties do not have an alliance in Jharkhand.
JD (U)’s Jharkhand unit president Salkhan Murmu said the offer was being made in the wake of reports of former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi’s reluctance to fight from Dumka assembly seat, which fell vacant as incumbent CM Hemant Soren kept the Barhait seat while vacating the Dumka seat.
He said reports suggested that BJP central leadership has sent feelers to Marandi for fielding him from Dumka, which he had earlier won in 1996 defeating JMM stalwart Sibu Soren.
This is a plan ‘B’ to counter the ruling JMM-Congress-RJD coalition by keeping the post of the leader of opposition for Marandi pending despite BJP being the largest political party in the state assembly. This even after Election Commission’s ruling the merger of Marandi’s JVM-P’s with the BJP as valid.
State assembly speaker Ravindra Nath Mahato, however, has been weighing the merger under anti-defection law and is yet to pronounce his verdict despite repeated demands by the BJP. The BJP is still without a legislative party leader and the assembly without leader of the opposition. The BJP felt Babulal Marandi winning from Dunka on its ticket would help break the deadlock.
“As far our information, Babulal Marndi is not very keen to fight from Dumka and the BJP seems not much confident of Louis Marandi as a second choice. Hence, JD-U proposes to support Babulal Marandi if he fights from Dumka and if he does not, JD-U is keen to fight from the seat. In such a case, BJP may fight from Bermo and if Babulal fights from Dumka, then JD-U can settle for Bermo,” Salkhan Murmu said.
CM Soren had vacated Dumka seat in January this year while Bermo seat fell vacant after death of Congress MLA Rajendra Singh in May this year. The bypolls are pending amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Murmu, a former BJP MP from Mayurbhanj said he had talked and got the approval for a proposal of 50:50 seat sharing between the JD(U) and the BJP for the bypolls and rural and urban body polls in future from the JD(U) national president and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and party in-charge of Jharkhand Arun Kumar Singh.
“We strongly feel this will have a positive impact in Bihar assembly polls also and will give NDA alliance an upper hand in the upcoming panchayat and urban body elections in Jharkhand. This is just the right time as the ruling JMM-Congress-RJD alliance is already losing ground with its complete failure in dealing with Covid-19 pandemic and it’s dithering on its electoral promises,” said Salkhan.
Jharkhand’s BJP president Deepak Prakash said the seat swap proposal was Salkhan Mumru’s personal view and it was also premature. “Let the bypolls be declared. We will discuss the matter and decide within the party forum at the state level and with the Central leadership at the right time. BJP named Babulal as our leader of the legislative party long ago, but the ruling dispensation is trying every trick to deny him the rightful status. We have even sought the Governor’s intervention,” said Prakash.