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BJP not keen on CM face this time

New Delhi, July 22: The BJP might have mocked the Congress for not declaring its prime ministerial candidate ahead of this year general elections, but in Jharkhand the party is treading a similar hush-hush path by not projecting a chief ministerial face before polls.

The state unit of BJP is all set to contest the upcoming Assembly elections without naming its candidate for the top job. Its bankable force is still Prime Minister Narendra Modi, insiders said.

“Though a final decision is yet to be taken, it is very likely that we won’t declare a CM candidate before elections. The idea is to go to voters and ask for a clear mandate in the name of Modiji’s vision of development against misrule,” a senior leader in the party said.

The central leadership seems to have reservations against the state’s two best-known BJP faces, former chief minister Arjun Munda and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha. “Munda’s tenure did not help the party much as his government was not very efficient. Also, he gave rise to factionalism, which needs to be curbed,” said the senior leader.

Referring to Sinha, he added: “Modiji and Amit Shah want to promote new faces who are younger and can deliver.”

A BJP MP from the state who did not want to be named claimed the names doing the rounds for elevation in Jharkhand politics were that of Raghubar Das, Sudarshan Bhagat and Sunil Singh.

Bhagat, the only representative of Jharkhand in the Modi cabinet, has emerged a favourite due to his clean image and years of work against missionary activities in the state’s tribal belt.

Das is another tribal leader who has served as deputy CM and enjoys good rapport with top leaders.

Sunil Singh, who won from Chatra Lok Sabha constituency, has also been associated with the students’ wing of the party for long and is seen as a dedicated RSS pracharak.

Sources said these three leaders were likely to be made in charge of the poll campaign.

“Since Jharkhand was created on November 15, 2000, there have been only tribal chief ministers with BJP ruling under Babulal Marandi once and Arjun Munda thrice after Marandi quit the party and floated the JVM. Hence, in all probability, if the party comes in power, a tribal leader will be given the top job,” the MP said.