Lok Sabha elections 2019: AJSU-BJP pre-poll alliance formally announced
It was already made clear that the BJP would forego its claim on Giridih and would contest from the other 13 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the All-Jharkhand Students’ Union Party on Sunday officially sealed their pre-poll alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand and kept the option open for the assembly polls that would take place later this year.
It was already made clear that the BJP would forego its claim on Giridih and would contest from the other 13 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand. A formal announcement was made on Sunday at a joint press meet, held at the state BJP office by BJP state president Laxman Gilua. Also present were AJSU Party chief and former Jharkhand deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahto; BJP state general secretary Deepak Prakash; and AJSU Party leader and minister in the Raghubar Das cabinet Chandra Prakash Choudhary.
This is the first time that the AJSU has formally entered into a pre-poll alliance in Jharkhand with the BJP. Since 2005, the regional party has been an ally of the national party unit in Jharkhand — AJSU teamed up in a post-poll coalition with the BJP and Janata Dal (United) after the assembly polls in 2005.
AJSU and the BJP had been in friendly fights in the Ranchi Lok Sabha seat in 2014, several assembly seats, and bypolls. The most recent was the Gomia bypolls this year and both lost it to Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.
In 2014, Sudesh Mahto had contested the Ranchi Lok Sabha seat and finished third with 1.42 lakh votes.
Addressing the media after the announcement, Sudesh said that AJSU would announce its Giridih candidate’s name after the March 23 meeting of its parliamentary board. He said that the party preferred to enter the NDA before elections and fight the polls together with the BJP to ensure there was a strong government at the Centre.
“The country needs a stable government and strong leadership, and the nation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership has been meeting challenges efficiently, be it global or on the domestic front, in the past four-and-a-half years,” he said.
On the Jharkhand ruling alliance’s prospects in the general elections, Sudesh expressed confidence that the 3.3 crore people in the state would also have faith in Modi’s leadership and would bless the coalition partners in the ensuing polls.
He, however, reiterated categorically that the alliance was for the general elections and the party would decide whether to continue it further in the next assembly elections.
The AJSU Party chief said that the party’s struggle regarding 27% reservation for backward classes, displaced persons, local residential and employment policy and the other issues would continue.
Sudesh said that the Swabhiman Yatra had been put on hold after the poll notification. He said, “The Swabhiman Yatra was apolitical, in which we covered 1,300 villages, and we will resume it soon after election.”
State BJP president Gilua spoke of the country’s “holistic progress” under Narendra Modi’s leadership, adding that the country’s security, too, was “in safe hands” now.
Gilua said that the BJP and AJSU would work in tandem at the grassroots and win all the LS seats in the state.