NEW DELHI: Gearing up for Assembly polls, the BJP is growing extra-cautious with Jharkhand, with the Central leadership set to take full control of the poll preparations.
The BJP is wary of faction-fighting in the ranks in the state unit, with assessments that local issues would dominate the poll campaign.
BJP vice president Om Mathur, who has been appointed election in-charge for Jharkhand, is set to camp in the state in the run-up to the Assembly elections in November.
“Mathur will stay put in Jharkhand from next month. The Central leadership has taken a grim view of faction-fighting in the state unit, including among ministers in the Raghubar Das Cabinet,” said a senior BJP leader.
The BJP had wrested power from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-led alliance in 2014 riding the Narendra Modi wave. However, on its own the party had won only 37 seats in the 81-member Assembly.
“There are about 15 seats which have never been won by the BJP in the state. There are 14 other seats won by the BJP only once till date. The challenge is obvious for the BJP in the face of the state voting differently in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections,” added the BJP functionary.
PM Modi is likely to launch the election campaign in the state next month. BJP chief and Union Home Minister Amit Shah is also slated to visit Jharkhand soon.
“The BJP has to be wary of the tribal electorate. Though Arjun Munda has been made a Cabinet minister in the Modi government, the tribals nurse grievances against the state government. The party will need to work overtime to win their support. The JMM will attempt to cash in on local issues,” said the BJP leader.