Ranchi: The Bharatiya Janata Party`s (BJP) decision to back ally Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) in the Dec 4 Mandu assembly bypoll in Jharkhand has upset its other partner Janata Dal-United (JD-U).
It`s a tricky situation as the Arjun Munda-led government is supported by the JMM, the JD-U as well as the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU). But the balance is clearly tilted in favour of the JMM, which has 17 legislators in the 81-member assembly, just two behind the BJP that has strength of 19. The AJSU has five members and the JD-U just two.
The JD-U, which is partnered by the BJP in neighbouring Bihar, has expressed unhappiness over the BJP`s move to support JMM`s Jay Prakash Mahto in the byelection.
"BJP has not followed coalition dharma. In Bihar, JD-U is big brother but is following coalition dharma. In Jharkhand, BJP has ditched JD-U," said former minister and JD-U legislator Sudha Chaudhary. The two parties also have a pre-poll alliance.
JD-U has fielded its state president Khiroo Mahto, who could not get the party`s arrow symbol.
"We have supported the strong candidate as we have to defeat the Congress and others. The JD-U nominee failed to get the party symbol... only then did we support the JMM," Pradeep Sinha, Jharkhand BJP spokesperson, said.
Hemant Soren, JMM chief Shibu Soren`s son and deputy chief minister in the Munda government had met Munda and BJP state president Dineshanand Goswami seeking their support. Hemant Soren, said party insiders, requested Munda and top BJP leaders to campaign in favour of his party in the bypoll.