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BJP in a fix over tottering alliances in Maharashtra and Jharkhand

Ditched by the Sena in Maharashtra, the party is now being kept on its toes in Jharkhand by AJSU, its partner for the past 20 years

R Krishna Das  |  Raipur 

Congress leaders in Maharashtra
Congress leaders during a meeting with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), in Mumbai | PTI

After its 25-year-old alliance with the in Maharashtra turned sour, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now in fix with another long-standing partner in

While the Sena virtually called off its deal with the in Maharashtra, its ally in Jharkhand, the All Students Union (AJSU) had been keeping it on its toes ahead of state elections. The AJSU had been an ally of for the past 20 years since the state came into being, following the bifurcation of Bihar in November 2000.

The issue of seat-sharing is learnt to be the major reason for the rift between the two allies. However, AJSU supremo Sudesh Mahto is playing his cards close to his chest, dodging media queries and putting the ball in BJP's court.

“We will only react once clears its stand on seat-sharing and declaring a common minimum programme,” Mahto said. Despite hectic parleys that continued between the senior leaders of both the parties, no desired result came out till Wednesday evening. Even Union Home Minister Amit Shah had a meeting with Mahto Monday night in New Delhi.

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Political analysts in Ranchi said the BJP was desperate to keep the alliance intact in for two reasons. “First, a break-up would mean BJP had been failing with its ally given the Maharashtra development and bitterness in Bihar,” they said, adding that secondly, the BJP had been well aware that it would not be easy to go alone in Jharkhand without any alliance as the party had learnt a lesson from poll outcomes in Maharashtra and Haryana.

AJSU had polled 3.68 percent votes in the 2014 assembly elections and bagged five out of eight seats it had contested. The party now wanted greater representation. Unconfirmed sources said AJSU had demanded 11 seats of the total 81 in the state besides a “friendly fight” in four seats where both the allies would have their candidates.

BJP’s Deputy election In-charge in Jharkhand Nandkishore Yadav said the party’s central leadership would take a call.

First Published: Wed, November 13 2019. 19:23 IST