Jharkhand NDA in turmoil as allies AJSU, BJP announce candidates for same seats

Both the BJP and its ally AJSU have announced candidates for Simaria, Chakardharpur and Sindri assembly constituencies for the upcoming Jharkhand assembly elections.

The National Democratic Alliance in Jharkhand seemed headed for a split as the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) Party on Monday released its first list of 11 candidates, which includes names for three constituencies for which its senior ally BJP has already announced candidates.

The development comes in the backdrop of lack of clarity over seat sharing among the two alliance partners even as only one day (November 13) is left for nominations to be filed for the first phase of polling.

“The party will not compromise with its policies and its vote base. BJP has released its first list, so have we,” said Dev Sharan Bhagat, AJSU’s spokesperson, adding that his party had demanded 17 out of 81 seats to contest.

In its first list, AJSU announced candidates for Silli, Ramgarh, Lohardaga, Hussainabad, Gomia, Barkagaon, Chandankiyari, Jugsalai, Simaria, Chakardharpur and Sindri. BJP has also announced its candidates for Simaria, Chakardharpur and Sindri in its first list of 52 candidates.

In 2014 elections, AJSU had won eight seats–Silli, Tamar, Lohardaga, Ramgarh, Chandankiyari, Tundi, Barkagaon, Jugsalai.

Sources said the BJP was not willing to cede more than 12 seats this time to the AJSU.

Moreover, the BJP is also demanding two seats of Lohardaga and Chandankiyari back from the AJSU quota, which has become a major bone of contention. The BJP wants these two seats to accommodate two turncoats – Amar Kumar Bauri (Chandankiyari) and Sukhdeo Bhagat (Lohardaga, who had quit JVM (P) and Congress respectively to join the BJP. Bauri is currently a minister in the Raghubar Das cabinet. Congress’s former state president and Lohardaga’s sitting legislator Bhagat joined the BJP last month.

It will be now interesting to see Sukhdeo Bhagat’s next move, after the AJSU Party’s Neeru Shanti Bhagat filed her nomination on Monday. Neeru, wife of AJSU Party’s former Lohardaga MLA Kamal Kishore Bhagat, had faced defeat in 2015 Lohardaga bye-election at the hands of Sukhdeo Bhagat who had then contested on a Congress ticket.

BJP’s 2nd list likely today

Meanwhile, the BJP is likely to release its second list of candidates on Tuesday. The party has already announced names of its 52 candidates, denying tickets to 10 sitting legislators. Also, many big faces didn’t find a place in the first list.

Cabinet ministers Saryu Rai, Neelkant Singh Munda and Amar Kumar Bauri are among the important figures whose fates are yet to be decided.

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