RANCHI: Ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls in Jharkhand, the BJP has put all its MLAs in political quarantine at the campus of Sarla Birla University in the outskirts of Ranchi after a meeting of NDA alliance partners was held to discuss poll strategy on Wednesday. Sources in the party revealed that all 26 BJP MLAs will stay in hostel rooms of the school till RS polls are conducted and leave the campus only for polling on Friday.
According to the party sources, they will also not be allowed to interact with anyone, including media persons even through mobile phones. Meanwhile, BJP National Vice President Om Mathur and National General Secretary Arun Singh reached here from a chartered flight to hold the meeting to discuss the strategy for the RS Polls. Notably, the meeting was attended by all 26 MLAs of BJP and 2 AJSU MLAs - Sudesh Mahto and Lambodar Mahto.
State BJP Vice President Pradeep Verma however, called it a normal process saying that the party already has required numbers. “This not happening for the first time, earlier also we used to gather at a point and discuss various issues related to RS polls. This time situation is abnormal due to the outbreak of coronavirus and hence such an arrangement was made for the MLAs,” said Verma. Earlier, such meetings were held in BJP headquarters, but since hotels are also closed, the meeting is being held in this school, he clarified.
The decision apparently is taken in the backdrop of the ruling alliance’s aggressiveness on gathering support for Congress nominee for RS polls Shahjada Anwar. Congress leaders have repeatedly been saying that they have fielded their candidate under a strategy and Jharkhand, as earlier, will give shocking results this time also.
“Most of the time, Jharkhand has given shocking results in RS polls. This time also, I believe that the State will witness shocking result,” said senior Congress leader and Rural Development Minister Alamgir Alam. Several independents, as well as those attached with one or another political party, have been contacted for voting in favour of the Congress nominee, he added.
Alam claimed that the Congress has adequate numbers to win a seat in RS polls. Notably, support of at last 27 legislators is required to win a seat in 79 members Jharkhand Assembly after Chief Minister Hemant Soren resigned from Dumka constituency and Bermo MLA Rajendra Kumar Singh died after prolonged illness. JMM, already having 29 MLAs, therefore its nominee Shibu Soren is all set to get nominated for RS.
BJP, currently having 26 MLAs, has the support of AJSU and the two independent MLAs Saryu Roy and Amit Yadav to reach the magic number of 27, required for winning a Rajya Sabha seat in Jharkhand. If all put together, it makes 30, three more than the required number.
Congress, on the other hand, has 15 MLAs and if somehow it manages to get the support of one MLA each from RJD and CPI (ML) and remaining two MLAs of JMM along with independents Pradeep Yadav and Bandhu Tirkey, it has only 21 MLAs.
Meanwhile, JMM General Secretary and party spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya has accused BJP of violating the provisions of disaster management act by assembling its MLAs and several others at one place forcefully. In a formal complied lodged with the the Chief Election Commissioner, Bhattacharya has demanded immediate action against university management and release of MLAs from the campus.