The uncertainty over BJP-AJSU Party alliance in the State is yet to get over with both parties awaiting a response from each other. The BJP has kept mum over the issue and the AJSU party is awaiting BJP Central leadership’s response on its step of announcing candidates against the BJP candidates already announced.
A large number of candidates filed nomination on Wednesday – the last day for nomination for the first phase of polls in 13 constituencies. However, the BJP announced the name of sitting MLA Sukhdeo Bhagat from Lohardaga, where AJSU Party candidate Neeru Shanti Bhagat, wife of former MLA KK Bhagat has already filed nomination.
While former JPCC president Sukhdeo Bhagat, who recently joined the BJP filed his nomination in the later half of the day, former BJP chief whip in the House, Radha Krishna Kishore, who joined the AJSU Party on Tuesday only, filed his nomination on the ticket of AJSU Party from Chhatarpur constituency.
Sources said that the posture of the two parties, especially fielding political heavyweights against each other, is indicative of a split in the alliance. Although, neither of the two parties have officially given any statement on the alliance except saying that they were natural allies and the alliance is intact.
AJSU Party chief Sudesh Mahto today said that his party was awaiting the response of BJP and they will not take a hasty decision.
He rejected rumours that the two parties had a secret deal, under which AJSU Party will contest on 10 seats and there will be friendly fight on three seats.
“We are working on the second, third and fourth list. The manifesto of the party will be released in a couple of days. Whatever decision will be taken on the alliance will be revealed before the people of the State in a couple of days,” he said.
Interestingly, the BJP has not fielded any candidate against AJSU Party at Hussainabad constituency going to polls in the first phase. The AJSU Party has fielded three candidates for the first phase of polls in Lohardaga, Chhatarpur and Hussainabad, out of which there is direct fight between the two parties on two seats.
Notably, the AJSU Party has remained an ally of BJP in almost all governments formed and Sudesh Mahto has handled plum portfolios throughout, including the post of Deputy CM. In the 2014 Assembly elections, the AJSU party had contested on eight seats and won five of them.
AJSU party’s CP Chaudhary was inducted in the Raghubar Das Cabinet as Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Water Resources.
In 2019 Lok Sabha election, the AJSU Party contested from one seat out of 14 and won it. CP Chaudhary won the Giridih seat and the vacant position of Minister was given to AJSU Party’s Ram Chandra Sahis.