Ranchi: As voting date for 13 assembly seats for the first phase of Jharkhand elections is inching closer, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is facing stiff challenge to save its old seats. Rebel leaders as well as candidates from its former ally All Jharkhand Student Union (AJSU) have increased difficulties of the ruling party.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday (November 21) have given much-need push to the ongoing poll campaign in the state, adressing a rally in Lohardaga, urging electorate to vote in favour of party candidates Sukhdev Bhagar (Lohardaga), Misir Kujur (Gumla), and Ashok Oraon (Bishunpur).
However, the BJP is facing challenge from its own leaders, who turned rebels, on three seats, direct fight from Congress-RJD-JMM alliance on seven seats, while on the remaining three seats, AJSU is making the contest triangular.
Of the 13 assembly seats of the first phase, the BJP and the Gathbandhan candidates are in direct fight in Garhwa, Daltonganj, Vishrampur, Panki, Manika, Gumla and Bishunpur constituencies, while the party rebels are posing challenge in Bhavanathpur, Latehar and Chatra seats.
In Lohardaga, Chhatarpur and Hussainabad seats, AJSU candidates are playing spoilsport, making the contest triangular. BJP's Radhu Krishna Kishore left the party and now contesting on AJSU ticket from Chhatarpur. Notably, 190 candidates are in the fray for the 13 assembly seats in the Palamu, Latehar, Chatra, Lohardra and Gumla districts.
The BJP is also facing a tough time in Chatra seat, where it fielded Janardan Paswan, who switched to the party from the RJD just ahead of polls.
Another interesting fight is on Hussainabad seat where the BJP is supporting an independent candidate Vinod Singh, who is engaged in a tough battle with Sanjay Singh of the grand alliance.
In the last assembly election, the BJP had won six of these 13 seats, but now with the Congress-RJD-JMM alliance, it would be really difficult for the ruling party to even retain that tally.