Ranchi: In a major political development, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)’s state President Annapurna Devi along with few more RJD leaders and cadres are expected to join Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today.
Annapurna, the four times MLA from Koderma Assembly segment may get BJP’s symbol to contest either from Koderma or Chatra parliamentary constituency. Since Sunday evening it is being reported by vernacular media that RJD state chief, along with former RJD MLA Janardan Paswan and Manoj Bhuiya had met Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das at his residence in the presence of BJP’s National General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav.
Koderma parliamentary constituency has become a hotbed for politics for BJP. The Koderma Lok Sabha seat is a constituency where BJP has won maximum seven times, out of total 12 Lok Sabha polls took place in Koderma since its inception. When BJP used to have only two Member of Parliament (MP)s on from Lukhnow and other from Koderma, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Ritlal Verma respectively.
However, the biggest question that needs to be answered is – how will RJD’s chief joining BJP help the saffron brigade in Jharkhand, or impact the opposition’s unity?
But before getting into that, it becomes important to first understand the desperate situation of the ruling BJP and NDA in Jharkhand, after Congress, RJD and JMM got into an alliance. BJP think tank believes that by inducting Annapurna, whose husband Ramesh Prasad Yadav was a strong Yadav leader, the BJP will bring in Yadav voters and also put a stop to the opposition unity in Jharkhand.
However, BJP even after bringing in RJD state chief, will it gain much? Political analysts are of the opinion that the move could demoralize BJP’s traditional vote base in Koderma, which includes Bhumihar, Brahman and Vaishya communities. BJP cadres are already unhappy with party’s decision of giving away it’s strong base – Giridih’s seat to AJSU and it is expected that if sitting MP Ravindra Rai will not be given the ticket, then they might hit the street in a way similar to supporters gheraoing the BJP state office in Ranchi when MP Ramtahal Choudhury didn’t get ticket.
It is also a fact that the present cadre-base in Koderma and Giridih region had helped in BJP getting majority in the Parliament for the first time. And time will only tell about how successful the party will be with its decision of leaving Giridih seat for an ally, which has been closely followed with changing Rai’s candidature.
With Annapurna’s news doing the rounds, speculations are rife about the increasing possibility of Rai joining Babulal Marandi’s JVM, in case he is denied a ticket by the BJP. Rai has been BJP’s state chief during 2014’s Lok Sabha election.
This development will damage RJD in Jharkhand. The party has got one seat– Chatra in Mahagathbandhan. However, it will not affect the opposition as RJD has little presence in Jharkhand.
Meahwhile, sources said RJD has removed Annapurna Devi as Jharkhand state chief on Monday and made Gautam Sagar Rana her successor.
It is expected that Annapurna will join BJP in Delhi, today itself.
BJP has announced candidature for ten seats in Jharkhand and are yet to declare names on three other seats – Ranchi, Koderma and Chatra