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Wednesday 29 January 2020

Jharkhand BJP haunted by Maharashtra alliance woes?

A BJP source said that the outcome of Maharashtra affected the party's Jharkhand policy where it refused to give 'winnable' seats away to allies AJSU and LJP

The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has announced that it will contest the Jharkhand Assembly election alone. LJP president and MP Chirag Paswan said the BJP had announced candidates for most of the seats demanded by the party. In such a situation, he said his party would contest the Assembly election alone in the state.

Before this, the BJP-AJSU alliance broke up on Monday. The BJP announced the names of 11 candidates in the declared seats, including Lohardaga and Chandan Kiyari.

The breaking away of the two allies was a result of the BJP bargaining for seats much harder than it normally would, a source in the party said, as it was still smarting from the “betrayal” of the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra to which, it now believes, it shouldn’t have given away seats it could have won. That, the senior BJP leader said, would “bring our numbers much closer to the majority mark”.

Paswan said that the state unit of the LJP had decided that the party would fight the election alone on 50 seats in the State. The LJP will release its first list of candidates on Tuesday.

Paswan clarified that the LJP was not going to accept ‘token seats’ this time. He said, “We had demanded six seats under the alliance, but candidates for all these seats have been announced by the BJP on Sunday.” Significantly, the BJP had on Sunday released its first list of 52 candidates for the Jharkhand Assembly election.

It may be recalled that the LJP proved a dud like many other NDA partners, with some newfound allies like Jitan Ram Manjhi, in the 2015 Bihar Assembly election.

Yesterday, the AJSU had announced candidates for 12 seats without consulting with the BJP while the latter announced candidates for three seats without talking to its allies.

Elections to the 81-member Assembly in Jharkhand will be held in five phases. The first round of voting will take place on 30 November and the last and fifth phase will be on 20 December. The counting of votes will take place on 23 December.

In the first phase of the Jharkhand election, voting will be held on 30 November for a total of 13 Assembly seats. These are Chatra, Gumla, Vishunpur, Lohardaga, Manika, Latehar, Panki, Daltonganj, Vishrampur, Chhatarpur, Hussainabad, Garhwa and Bhawanathpur. Of these 13 seats, Chatra, Latehar and Chhatarpur are reserved for the Scheduled Castes while Gumla, Bishunpur, Lohardaga and Manika are reserved for the Scheduled Tribes.

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