RANCHI: It seems that the BJP is yet to get over the shock defeat in Jharkhand as the party is functioning without a state president and legislature party leader.
Following the defeat, Lakshman Giluwa resigned as the state president of the party. The BJP has yet to take a decision on this even as the two-day assembly session is scheduled to begin from January 7.
The election results were declared on December 23, but the BJP has not called a meeting of legislators to elect its leader. Former Chief Minister Raghubar Das himself had to bite the dust in Jamshedpur East from where he lost by more than 18,000 votes to the old warhorse Saryu Roy.
Raghubar Das became the second Chief Minister of the state who lost the elections despite being in office. JMM president Shibu Soren had lost the Tamar assembly election in 2009 leading to President's rule in the state.
If Raghubar Das had won the election, he could have been the natural choice for the leader of the BJP legislature party.
Sources in the BJP say that the party is not able to decide who will be its leader in the 81-member House. The BJP legislature party leader will naturally be the Leader of Opposition also. The BJP is the second largest party in Jharkhand and the single largest among the opposition parties.
The BJP won 25 seats and managed to get 32 per cent votes.
"The central leaders will have to decide about the legislature party leader. It seems that they are not clear whether to have a tribal or a non-tribal face. The BJP's big tribal face is Neelkanth Singh Munda, while there is no dearth of leaders among non-tribal faces including C.P. Singh," said a source in the BJP.
Both C.P. Singh and Munda were ministers in the Raghubar Das government. Singh has been winning from the Ranchi assembly seat since 1995 while Munda is also a four-time legislator and has been a minister three times.
The BJP is also in a dilemma as the legislative party leader will become the face of the party for the 2024 assembly poll. The central leaders are not in favour of either Munda or Singh getting the post.
"The election of legislature party leader will take place soon," Deepak Prakash, general secretary of the state BJP told IANS. Asked whether an election will take place for the same, he said "the party will take a decision at the right time".