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BJP, AJSU sever ties in Jharkhand days before Assembly elections

The party decided to break the alliance with AJSU after a meeting between BJP chief Amit Shah, its working president JP Nadda and others

Archis Mohan  |  New Delhi 

Counting is underway for Maharashtra, Haryana elections 2019
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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) have parted ways in the Assembly elections-bound state after the ruling party refused to accede to the ally’s demand for 17 of 81 seats. The BJP has decided to contest 80 seats and support an independent candidate on one. The party had already announced candidates for 53 seats, and AJSU for 12.

The party decided to break the alliance with AJSU after a meeting between BJP chief Amit Shah, its working president and others. It also announced another 15 candidates, taking the number of candidates announced to 68.

The BJP and AJSU had been allies for 19 years, ever since the state was carved out in 2000. The BJP was willing to give AJSU 10 seats, and there was likelihood of friendly contests on three others.

The AJSU, however, demanded Lohardaga and Chakdradharpur seats. From Lohardaga, the BJP has fielded former Congress state unit chief Sukhdeo Bhagat.

The BJP severing its alliance with AJSU comes on the heels of developments in Maharashtra, where the BJP and the Shiv Sena parted ways after contesting the Assembly polls in an alliance.

In Jharkhand, BJP allies and Ram Vilas Paswan-led (LJP) have also decided to field candidates. The LJP has said it will contest on 50 seats.

In 2014, the BJP had won 37 seats, failing short of the majority mark, but formed the government with the help of AJSU and six legislators, who defected from the (JMM). This time, the BJP has given tickets to several sitting legislators from the Congress who have switched sides.

The development has made the polls a multi-cornered contest. The Congress has an alliance with the JMM and Rashtriya Janata Dal.

The five-phase polling in Jharkhand will last from November 30 to December 20, and the counting of votes is on December 23.

First Published: Fri, November 15 2019. 01:23 IST
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