NEW DELHI/RANCHI: The All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) continues to keep the BJP guessing even after the saffron party’s president, Amit Shah, is learnt to have spoken to its chief Sudesh Mahto late last night.
Thursday being the last date of withdrawing nominations, the BJP is getting reconciled to the prospect of ‘friendly contest’ on at least three Assembly seats with the AJSU, which remains adamant on its demand for 17 seats. The BJP is not inclined to cede more than 10 Assembly seats to the smaller ally.
BJP vice-president Om Prakash Mathur, who is the party’s election in-charge for Jharkhand, however, is slated to go to Ranchi to bring the belligerent ally on board.
Filing of nominations for 13 Assembly seats for the first phase of polls ended on Wednesday. Insiders in the two parties maintained that the leadership is facing a lot of pressure from workers and local leaders to not yield certain constituencies, which have become a bone of contention.
“Both the parties may unofficially go for ‘friendly contest’ on some seats even though the BJP did not field any candidate from Hussainabad, which was cleared for the AJSU by Shah a few days ago,” said a senior BJP functionary.
A senior BJP leader expressed confidence that the NDA alliance will remain intact in Jharkhand as both the BJP and the AJSU were not in favour of breaking the ties to avert division of their vote-banks. The BJP is holding the alliance crucial for the party’s base among the Kurmis.
“Since breaking of ties will have a negative impact on voters, especially after what happened in Maharashtra, the BJP is not in favour of breaking the ties and hence, there are possibilities that we will unofficially reach a consensus for friendly contest over two or three seats due to which BJP did not announce its candidate in Hussainabad. Likewise, the AJSU has also announced candidates only for three seats going for polls in the first phase,” said a BJP functionary.
Looking at the pressure from workers and ambition of leaders in both the parties, it is essential for them to contest elections on a maximum number of seats, he added.
The BJP on Wednesday also announced the name of Sukhdeo Bhagat on Lohardaga seat against AJSU candidate Niru Shanti Bhagat, lending credence to the buzz on a friendly fight.
AJSU’s candidate list also included names of candidates on four Assembly seats, where BJP has already announced its candidates.