Ally problem looms over BJP in Jharkhand, a headache for the party
Jharkhand goes to the polls in five phases beginning November 30 to December 20 to elect the next government in the state. The upcoming election is full of turmoil. The ruling BJP-AJSU alliance is on the verge to split. BJP has not found itself in a comfort zone after the unexpected results in Haryana, Maharashtra elections.
BJP lost 4 states
The fact is that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost four-state assembly elections since 2018. The saffron party had the government in 16 states; now, the party is in power in 12 states. Despite thumping victory in Lok Sabha elections, the party suffered heavily in Haryana and Maharashtra. The bitter experience of the alliance must be weighing heavily in the minds of the top brass of the party headed by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah duo.
BJP eyes on 65 seats
Meanwhile, the BJP has targeted to win more than 65 seats in the 81-member Jharkhand assembly. Is this claim strong or hallow? It will be decided on December 23, when the results will be announced. The daunting task for the ruling party is to defend its performance and keep the voters’ satisfied with its work on issues like unemployment, farm distress and economic slowdown.
Seat-sharing issue crops up
However, the seat-sharing issue is also cropping up in Jharkhand too. The BJP has not yet settled a seat-sharing agreement with its existing ally All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU). Another partner of NDA in Bihar, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), headed by Chirag Paswan now decided to contest the election on its own. LJP is set to fight on 50 seats. Nitish Kumar’s JD (U) is in also catch 22 situations to contest with the BJP or go alone.
Opposition looks formidable
The opposition is looking sharp and an impressive side to challenge the saffron party. The troika of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Congress and the RJD are fighting on 43, 31 and 7 seats respectively. At least on paper, they are looking potent to change the arithmetic in the upcoming state assembly polls. The former chief minister and working president of JMM Hemant Soren will be the face of chief minister of the alliance.
Priyanka not in the campaign list
All parties are ready to select the name of star campaigners to woo the voters. The grand old party on Thursday released a list of 40-star campaigners of the forthcoming Jharkhand assembly polls. The notable name which is missing in this coveted list is its general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. She was also absent in the campaign team in the recently concluded elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. But Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh names have been figured.
BJP releases campaigners’ list
On the other side of the court, the veteran leader of BJP in Bihar and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi’s name is missing in star campaigners’ list. Two Union ministers of Bihar Ravi Shankar Prasad and Nityanand Rai are figured in this list. BJP is all set to depute its two ministers of Bihar Nand Kishor Yadav (road construction) and Mangal Pandey (health) for the campaign. The party has made Pandey in-charge for all assembly seats of Palamu region.
Congress ropes in a spokesperson
Congress has roped in management guru Gourav Vallabh as one of the spokespersons. The finance professor at the XLRI Management Institute in Jamshedpur has penned several books. The Congress has fielded him to take on BJP’s firebrand spokesperson Sambit Patra.
Poll predictors and media persons are clueless; they are taking precaution in exaggerating anything before the result. Maharashtra and Haryana results made their prediction reverse. At the outset, it looks 50-50 chance for the ruling as well as the opposition.