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BJP banks on LS momentum, sets eyes on 55 seats

Bokaro, Aug. 24: BJP’s newly elected national vice-president Raghubar Das today sounded the poll bugle with ‘Mission 55’, setting the target for party workers ahead of the Assembly elections, dates for which are likely to be announced soon.

Das, who is basking in fresh attention after the elevation on the party ladder, added that given the current political situation in the state and the popularity of Narendra Modi, the party might well bag more than 55 out of the 81 seats.

The senior BJP leader was speaking to mediapersons at Chas township on his way to Dhanbad on a personal visit.

“So-called political pundits and opposition parties had mocked us when we announced Mission-272 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. However, the poll results silenced all them. So people should not be surprised if the BJP wins the Assembly polls with a massive majority,” he added.

Asked about the recent controversy over the alleged jeering of chief minister Hemant Soren during a programme attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ranchi last Thursday, Das rejected the allegation of booing and hooting.

“It’s wrong to say that Hemant Soren was hooted or booed by BJP workers. The truth is that enthusiastic crowd was eager to hear Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the BJP national vice president said.

Reacting to JMM workers’ attempt to block the cavalcade of Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar in Ranchi and Jamshedpur yesterday, Das said the JMM had fallen into the Congress’s trap.

“The Congress is become weak in Jharkhand. So it is trying to highlight non-issues to stay afloat. It dragged this incident and the JMM also got carried away. The issue should be closed now,” he opined.

Asked if the BJP would join hands with any regional party for the polls ahead, Das said there was no question of entering into an alliance with any party. “We will contest all the 81 Assembly seats on our own.”

Das also sought to clarify that though a number of leaders from other parties were joining the BJP, there was no reason to believe that all of them would be given tickets. “If anyone wants to join the party for the welfare of the state, he is most welcome. But if one is coming to fulfil one’s own interests then ‘no thanks’,” he added.

Marandi flays Cong

Beleaguered JVM supremo Babulal Marandi lashed out at the Congress and the BJP for “poaching” prominent leaders from regional parties to win the elections.

“The national parties are banking on the leaders from regional parties and making big claims ahead of the Assembly elections. This is nothing but robbery,” Marandi said while addressing JVM party workers’ at Sector IV in Bokaro steel city.

As many as five JVM MLAs — Samresh Singh (Bokaro), Nirbhaya Kumar Shahabadi (Giridih), Chandrika Mahtha (Jamua), Jai Prakash Singh Bhokta (Simaria) and Phulchand Mandal (Sindri) — have already joined the BJP. This apart, former Jamshedpur MP Ajoy Kumar joined the Congress last week, leaving the JVM in the soup.

Asking party workers to gear up for the polls, Marandi said the party would contest all 81 seats alone.