Jharkhand’s Candidate Quest: Alliance Intrigues and Delayed Declarations

Sita Soren may contest from Chatra. Jai Prakash Patel, former BJP MLA from Hazaribagh, will contest from INDIA's side. Congress MLA may fight on BJP's symbol from Dhanbad

Ranchi: The dates of the Lok Sabha elections 2024 have been announced, but while the National Democratic Alliance has yet to announce its three candidates, the Indian National Development Inclusive Alliance has not revealed the names of candidates of any of the fourteen seats.

One reason for this delay is being cited by both alliances as seat sharing in Bihar. Jharkhand’s seats will also help both alliances to make final adjustments for their partners in Bihar, considered the big brother state.

BJP can give the ticket to Sita Soren from Chatra

Chatra Lok Sabha is one of the two seats where the BJP has not yet fielded its candidates. Sunil Singh is currently the MP from here. But since the name of the sitting MP has not been announced, it is believed that a new face will be in the fray on the Lotus symbol.

If sources are to be believed, Sita Soren was active in Chatra for the last two years, and now that Sita has left JMM and joined BJP, that too by resigning from the legislature, she can become the party’s choice.

Anyway, leaving one party and joining another on the same day is not a day’s work, but it takes months and years of background work between two sides.

Here, the Rashtriya Janata Dal is a claimant from the INDIA bloc side. RJD wants both Chatra and Palamu seats and in return, it wants to adjust seats with Congress in Bihar.

Mathematics of Dhanbad

Like Chatra, in Dhanbad, also the BJP has not announced any candidate yet. And here too, it is considered certain that the current MP PN Singh will not get the ticket. There are many candidates interested to contest from this seat on BJP’s symbol, including MLAs from INDIA, but BJP can leave Dhanbad for JDU. Nitish Kumar’s party has got one less seat than BJP in Bihar.

Jaiprakash Bhai Patel can be the candidate of the INDIA Alliance from Hazaribagh

BJP has also cancelled the ticket of Jayant Sinha from Hazaribagh. Jayant, a minister in the Modi cabinet, is the son of Yashwant Sinha, who was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet.

Now the news is coming that BJP’s Mandu MLA Jaiprakash Bhai Patel has left the party and joined Congress. He will now be the Lok Sabha candidate from Hazaribagh from the alliance. Jaiprakash Patel is the son of senior JMM leader and former MP Teklal Mahato.

This loss of BJP MLA in Jharkhand can also impact in Dhanbad, where BJP will want to poach Congress MLAs, who are interested in getting BJP tickets but the saffron brigade had kept them in queue.

Jaiprakash Verma’s claim from INDIA in Koderma

BJP has again fielded Annapurna Devi from Koderma Lok Sabha.

Since Gandey’s assembly election and Koderma Lok Sabha will be held simultaneously and Hemant Soren’s wife Kalpana Soren will contest from Gandey, former MLA Jaiprakash Verma, now in JMM, is arguing that the same election symbol will be beneficial in Lok Sabha and legislative assembly polls. However, political observers did not buy this argument as even in panchayat polls, villagers vote for different symbols and candidates in Panchayat elections where polls take place once.

However, Verma, who has come from the BJP, has the challenge to win the trust of Muslims as well as tribals. While Muslims, do not prefer the saffron brigade or leaders who come from there because of its anti-minority policies, the tribal population is also angry with the BJP due to Hemant Soren being sent to jail.

Notably, in 2004, then United Progressive Alliance, which had the same partners—Congress, JMM and RJD, Champa Verma, wife of Ritlal Prashad Verma, the aunt of Jaiprakash was made UPA candidate, but she could not win. On the other hand, UPA’s candidates had won all of the remaining 13 seats in Jharkhand.

But whoever the Indian alliance fields as candidates, they are lagging behind the announcement of the names

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