BJP's alliance partners in Jharkhand to support Pranab
Ranchi: The ruling BJP in Jharkhand appeared to have been cornered as its three partners in government have decided to support UPA's presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already suffered a setback in Bihar when its alliance partner Janata Dal-United (JD-U) announced support for Mukherjee.
Last week, two JD-U legislators, including Jharkhand Excise Minister Raja Peter, attended a meeting called for garnering support for the United Progressive Alliance candidate Pranab Mukherjee.
Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan also attended the meeting.
Now, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) have decided to vote for Mukherjee.
JMM has 18 legislators and a member each in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
AJSU has six legislators.
The BJP was also snubbed by its alliance partners during the Rajya Sabha poll held in May.
AJSU supported the JMM candidate, leading to the defeat of BJP nominee S.S. Ahuwalia.
BJP is trying to underplay the support issue.
"We are post-poll partners and we came together in Jharkhand to form a stable government," state BJP spokesperson Pradeep Singa told IANS.
In the 82-member Jharkhand assembly, the Congress claims that majority of the legislators support Mukherjee.
"Except the BJP, all parties are in support of Pranab Mukherjee," state Congress spokesperson Shailesh Sinha said.
BJP has 18 legislators in the assembly.