Ranchi: After Maharashtra, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to be on the warpath with its allies in Jharkhand also as seat distribution is proving to be a major source of differences between the BJP and the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).
The BJP on Wednesday announced its candidate Sukhdeo Bhagat from the Lohardaga Assembly seat. He is a former Congress president of Jharkhand and joined the BJP just before the announcement of the poll dates. However, the AJSU had already fielded Niru Bhagat from the seat, who filed his nomination on November 11 in the presence of the party president.
Soon after the BJP fielded its own candidate, the AJSU leaders went into a huddle.
Sources in the BJP said that the party has finally offered 10 seats to the AJSU and there would be friendly fights on three seats including Lohardaga and Chandankiyari.
AJSU president Sudesh Mahto on Tuesday said that the party was waiting for the BJP response regarding seat-sharing and alliance in the Assembly poll.
"We have submitted final list of the 17 seats to the BJP. We are waiting for their response. BJP imported Legislators from other parties and want them to fight on our seats," said Mahto.
After Mahto's statement, senior BJP leaders met at the Chief Minister's residence on Tuesday night.
Sources in the BJP said that both parties may not officially part ways, but both can fight the polls separately on a few seats. Till now neither the BJP nor the AJSU has formally announced their separation. The BJP leaders were confident of a settlement between the two.
"We are still hopeful that we will fight the polls together," said Nadan Kishore, BJP poll in-charge of Jharkhand to reporters. Now all eyes are on the Chhatarpur Assembly seat.
The chief whip of the ruling BJP Radha Krishna Kishore on Tuesday joined the AJSU after being denied a ticket by the BJP. He was a Legislator from the Chattarpur Assembly seat. Wednesday is the last date of nomination for the Chhatarpur seat.
Now the focus is on the AJSU. Will it field Kishore from Chahatrpur? This will decide the fate of the alliance.
In 2014, the BJP and the AJSU had fought on 72 and eight seats and won 37 and five seats respectively.