New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday received a setback after its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ally Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) decided to contest the Jharkhand Assembly polls alone. Addressing a media briefing, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan's son Chirag Paswan said, "The decision to contest election in Jharkhand was to be taken by the party's state unit. And the state unit of the LJP has decided to contest on 50 seats independently. By Tuesday evening, the party will release the first list of candidates."
Even Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal-United (JD-U) has decided to contest the Assembly election independently. The BJP, LJP and the JD-U currently have a coalition government in Bihar.
BJP-AJSU alliance on the rocks
Meanwhile, NDA's other ally All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) Party also released its first list of 12 candidates. The list also has names for three constituencies for which BJP has already announced its candidates.
The party spokesperson Deosharan Bhagat said, "Party supremo, Sudesh Mahto will contest from Silli, Sunita Chaudhary wife of Giridih MP, Chandraprakash Chaudhary will contest from Ramgarh, MLA from Husainabad Kushwaha Sheopujan Mehta to contest from same seat, Lambodar Mahto to be the party candidate from Gomia, Roshanlal Chaudhary, former AJSU Party candidate from Barkagaon to contest from same seat."
Congress releases third list
Congress, on the other hand, released the third list of 19 candidates for the upcoming polls. Dr Irfan Ansani and Mannan Mallick are contesting from Jamtara and Dhanbad constituencies, respectively. Banna Gupta has been fielded from Jamshedpur West and Rajiv Kumar has been fielded from Kanke constituency.
The 81-member Jharkhand Assembly will vote in five phases starting from November 30 to December 20. Counting of votes will take place on December 23.
Sukhdeo Bhagat was, meanwhile, not given a ticket by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) for the crucial Lohardaga seat. Bhagat joined BJP only last month after quitting Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) (JVM-P) and Congress, respectively.
(With agencies inputs)