NEW DELHI: Sensing that post-poll manoeuvring will be difficult, the BJP is making determined bid to shift focus from CM Raghubar Das and push the national issues to the centrestage of the electioneering in Jharkhand.
The central BJP is making all out efforts to micro-manage the election campaign to turn the multi-cornered contest into an advantage for the ruling party. While the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) leadership had told the BJP leadership that the two parties can discuss the post-poll scenario in the event they did not agree to seat adjustments, sources said there are apprehensions that the Sudesh Mahto-led outfit may go for bargain hunting in case the state throws a hung Assembly. The AJSU parted ways with the NDA after the BJP didn’t accede to its demands for 17 Assembly seats.
“The AJSU is principally opposed to the politics of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM). With support base amongst the formidable Kurmi caste, the AJSU also has appeal among the OBCs. But the post-poll Maharashtra churning could throw up new possibilities. The BJP has to stay alert to all the possibilities,” said a senior BJP functionary.
The BJP leadership, sources said, has noted that there is a clear trend in the states that the campaigns around chief ministers dim the sharpness of national issues despite strong pitch around delivery on welfare schemes. “Maharashtra and Haryana have shown that the campaigns around the incumbent CMs didn’t pay dividends. The initial campaign around Raghubar Das in Jharkhand also gave negative signals. This poses a challenge for the party to steer the campaign on a firm course without allowing the Opposition to polarise the electorate by campaigning against Das,” added the BJP functionary.
Incidentally, the BJP had secured majority after the Assembly elections by weaning away the MLAs of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) led by former chief minister Babu Lal Marandi.However, the BJP may not be able to lure away the opposition MLAs this time, with the likes of JVM learning from Maharashtra episode.
‘NRC will be done across India’
At a rally in Bokaro, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh asserted that the NRC will be implemented all across India. Rajnath claimed that first round of polling made it evident that BJP is going to return with a full majority to form government in Jharkhand. “As every Indian has the right to know about illegal immigrants living on their land, we will implement NRC in every state.” Referring to Ram temple, he said that the party will build the temple as was promised in the poll manifesto. Rajnath also said that none can point fingers at BJP’s prime minister, ministers or chief ministers regarding corruption. Meanwhile, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, claimed the country’s economy has started moving in the right direction.