While the Sena virtually called off its deal with the BJP in Maharashtra, its ally in Jharkhand, the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) had been keeping it on its toes ahead of state elections. The AJSU had been an ally of BJP 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 BJP 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.
Political analysts in Ranchi said the BJP was desperate to keep the alliance intact in Jharkhand 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.