The BJP did not officially announce it, the AJSU said nothing either, but the split between 19-year-old alliance partners is merely a formality now.
After days of suspense, the BJP on Thursday announced its third list of 15 candidates taking the tally of its total candidates to 69 in response to AJSU’s non-negotiable stance on 17 seats, including some of the crucial constituencies where both the parties have fielded their candidates.
The decision came after a series of meetings in Delhi and Ranchi when the BJP Central leadership took the stance to field 15 more candidates in the absence of any fruitful dialogue with the AJSU party, which has fielded candidates against the BJP on many crucial seats.
While Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das hinted in a Press conference here on Thursday that the party may go it alone in the polls by saying it will achieve the target of 65 plus seats this election. Speaking to a news channel in Delhi, State in-charge OP Mathur said the BJP has always given due respect to its partner and it has still not announced candidates on nine seats.
“We are open as we have still left nine seats. You cannot take decisions single headedly. We will contest on the issue of development and cross 65 plus figure. This will be clear to all on December 23 (Counting Day),” said Mathur to the channel.
AJSU party has not cleared its stand till the time of filing of the report but party spokesperson Deosharan Bhagat said AJSU is the ‘younger brother” of the BJP, which did not consult it before releasing the lists. “The BJP announced names for 52 seats, then one seat and then 15 seats without taking us in confidence, but we did not say anything. We have just announced a list of 12 seats. Decisions should not be imposed by the elder brother. They should be properly consulted beforehand. We have also left several seats this time and earlier also. Last time (in 2014) they (BJP) had to find outsiders for majority despite coalition. What will be done this time has to be thought about,” said Bhagat.
Notably, the BJP has till date announced candidates on 69 seats in the 81-member Assembly, while the AJSU has announced names of 13 candidates. Sources said the BJP had offered 12 seats to the regional party, while the AJSU, which has remained in all the Governments formed by the BJP since the formation of the State and party chief Sudesh Mahto has handled plum portfolios including the post of Deputy CM, was adamant on contesting from not less than 17 seats. The AJSU contested on eight seats in 2014 polls and bagged five of them.
Notably, in the third list the BJP has come forward with the names of Gajadhar Singh (Poreyahat), Janki Yadav (Barkatha), Laxman Prasad Singh (Dhanwar), Jay Parakash Verma (Gandey), Viranchi Narayan (Bokaro), Amar Kumar Bauri (Chandankiyari), Aparna Sen Gupta (Nirsa), Ganesh Mahli (Seraikela), JB Tubid (Chaibasa), BP Pingla (Majhgaon), Jawahar Vanra (Kharswan), Neelkanth Singh Munda (Khunti), Deo Kumar Dhan (Mandar), Dinesh Oraon (Sisai) and Sujan Munda (Khunti).
Both the BJP and AJSU have fielded candidates against each other in Chakradharpur, Lohardaga, Chandankiyari, Sindri, Mandu, Ghatshila, Husainabad and Chhatarpur. AJSU has fielded a candidate against State BJP chief Laxman Gilua at Chakradharpur, while the AJSU has fielded former BJP chief whip RK Kishore against BJP candidate at Chhatarpur.
Only a formal announcement from either of the parties is left to break the 19-year old alliance, while political experts said that neither of the two is ready to take the blame.