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No berth in Modi cabinet irks AJSU: NDA ally warns of strong reaction in Jharkhand Assembly polls

Giridih MP Chandra Prakash Choudhary, the lone MP of AJSU, has expressed disappointment at being slighted in the cabinet which took oath on Sunday and indicated that its repercussion could be seen in the Jharkhand Assembly elections scheduled later this year

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 12.06.24, 06:34 AM
Chandra Prakash Choudhary.

Chandra Prakash Choudhary. Picture by Shabbir Hussain

Voices of dissent have surfaced from one of the oldest NDA allies since 2004 — the AJSU — over non-inclusion in the Narendra Modi cabinet.

Giridih MP Chandra Prakash Choudhary, the lone MP of AJSU, has expressed disappointment at being slighted in the cabinet which took oath on Sunday and indicated that its repercussion could be seen in the Jharkhand Assembly elections scheduled later this year.

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Speaking to The Telegraph, Chandra Prakash Choudhary — who is currently in Delhi and will return to Ranchi on Wednesday — said: “I have nothing to say. Even those candidates who lost elections have been included in the cabinet and one of the oldest allies of the NDA has not been given a single berth. I think the repercussions could be seen during the Assembly polls in Jharkhand.”

Choudhary, a second-term MP from Giridih, is a popular leader among the Kurmis in Jharkhand while his wife Sunita Choudhary is a MLA from Ramgarh. Sunita was elected in 2023 after the sitting Congress MLA Mamata Devi was disqualified following her conviction by the Hazaribagh district court in a police firing case and awarded a punishment of five years.

“A close analysis of the Lok Sabha results in Jharkhand shows that the tribals and the minorities have deserted the NDA and if the Kurmis — who have been traditional voters for the NDA — follow suit, one can understand the outcome,” hinted Choudhary.

The BJP lost all five ST-reserved seats — Dumka, Rajmahal, Singhbhum, Lohardaga and Khunti — in Jharkhand.

The Kurmi voters influence the outcome of elections in the Assembly constituencies coming under Ranchi, East Singhbhum (Jamshedpur Lok Sabha constituency), Dhanbad, Giridih, Hazaribagh and Bokaro districts.

Two MPs were included in the newly-formed cabinet from Jharkhand — Koderma MP Annapurna Devi (women and child development minister) and Ranchi MP Sanjay Seth (minister of state for defence).

“In the meeting of the NDA constituent parties, it was said that proper representation will be given to all. But I cannot understand why the AJSU was ignored. I am in Delhi and I am getting constant calls from party supporters and well-wishers to know the reason for non-inclusion,” said Choudhary.

Although AJSU central spokesperson Deo Sharan Bhagat did not specify anything on the non-inclusion issue, he said: “Narendra Modiji is the captain of the team and every captain has the right to pick his team. But it should be remembered that we (Jharkhand) have Assembly elections coming later this year.”

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