Jharkhand Assembly Election 2019: JD(U) backs ex-minister Saryu Roy against CM Raghubar Das
The Janata Dal (United) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who are partners in Bihar have taken the gloves off in Jharkhand over former state minister Saryu Roy who is contesting the assembly election against chief minister Raghubar Das from Jamshedpur-East.
This became apparent with a senior JD (U) leader extending full support to Roy and also claiming that the party’s president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar could campaign in Jamshedpur for Roy.
“If Saryu Roy requests Nitish Kumar to campaign for him, we all would request the JD-U president to campaign for Roy. We will extend all possible support to Saryu Roy. Every one of us will camp in Jamshedpur if need be. He has always been raising his voice against corruption. He continued to fight corruption in high places in spite of being in the government,” Lalan Singh, senior JD (U) leader and MP from Munger in Bihar told reporters in Ranchi on Tuesday.
Singh further said they felt Roy was denied ticket because he kept raising his voice against corruption in Jharkhand.
“If you deny someone ticket for opposing corruption, what will he do? Naturally he decided to symbolically fight against the CM and filed nomination. JD (U) welcomes and fully supports his decision. We have already withdrawn our candidate there,” Singh said.
The BJP tried to play down the electoral showdown with the JD (U).
BJP spokesperson in Jharkhand, Pratul Shahdeo said, “We don’t have alliance with JD (U) in Jharkhand. Our alliance with them is restricted to Bihar. Moreover, it is not in culture our party to comment on internal decisions of other parties.”
Meanwhile, Roy said on Tuesday that he has applied for three symbols – farmer on tractor, gas cylinder and sewing machine which will be decided on November 21. Interestingly, JD (U)’s official poll symbol in Jharkhand is farmer riding tractor, which is almost similar to what Roy has suggested as his choice.
“If there is no official JD (U) candidate in a particular seat, the DC can allot farmer riding tractor symbol to independent candidate,” Salkhan Murmu, JD (U) Jharkhand president said.
Leaders close to Roy said that former BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha, former union minister Yashwant Sinha have also expressed their willingness to address rallies and hold roadshows in Jamshedpur to support Roy.
“Union minister Ramvilas Paswan too is being requested to send Chirag Paswan if he is not able to come for campaigning in favour of Roy,” one of the leader quoted above said.
JMM working president Hemant Soren has extended unconditional support and appealed all opposition parties to extend support to Roy. However, the Congress, which got the Jamsedhpur East in seat sharing with JMM has fielded its national spokesperson Gourav Vallabh and is yet to take a call on his withdrawing his candidature.
On Monday, the JD (U) had announced that it would not field candidate against Roy from Jamsedhpur East. It had asked its official candidate Sanjay Thakur for Jamshedpur-East and Sanjiv Acharya for Jamshedpur-West to withdraw from fray. Neither of them filed nominations.
Samajwadi Party (SP) state general secretary Ali Raza said their candidates too did not file nomination from the seat in support of Roy.