JD-U divided over ally BJP

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By SUDHIR KUMAR MISHRA in Ranchi
  • Published 9.06.09
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Ranchi, June 8: After being “back-stabbed” by the BJP in the recently held Lok Sabha elections, the state unit of JD(U) is struggling to keep its flock together.

Although the party’s senior leaders have adopted a wait-and-watch policy for the time being, at the ground level cadres seem to be desperately looking for viable alternatives. Even senior leaders such as Radha Krishna Kishore and Madhu Singh did not participate at the party’s national executive body meeting held in New Delhi last week. They want an explanation from the BJP as to why their leaders have turned a blind eye to the problem in Jharkhand.

Despite an “air-tight” pre-poll alliance, the BJP had backed Independent candidates Inder Singh Namdhari and Brij Mohan Ram in Chatra and Palamau Lok Sabha constituencies, respectively. Consequently, JD(U) candidates were defeated in both these seats.

“Despite repeated requests, BJP president Rajnath Singh refused to campaign for us in Chatra and Palamau. In both these constituencies, BJP supporters openly canvassed that sewing machine was their election symbol. The silence of our party’s senior leaders has further demoralised the cadres at the grassroots level,” said Kishore, who tasted defeat in Palamau constituency.

Speculations are rife that a JD(U) legislator from the Santhal Pargana region may join the Congress soon.

Although state unit JD(U) chief Jaleshwar Mahto admitted that his party’s senior leaders have decided to wait for the BJP’s new moves, he denied revolt within the party organisation. He, however, remained tightlipped when asked why Raghubar Das, the president of state BJP unit, was advocating to snap ties with the JD(U) despite “positive assurances” by the party’s high command.

Replying to another question, Mahto said that snapping ties with BJP would not be easy. But he did not hesitate to warn: “If the BJP engineered the defeat of our candidates in Chatra and Palamau, we too can pay back,” he said.