New Delhi: Filing of nomination papers for the second phase of polling in Jharkhand ends Monday evening and all eyes are on two seats in the industrial town of Jamshedpur.
BJP is yet to clear the ticket of senior leader and minister Saryu Rai from Jamshedpur West. As deadline to filing nominations nears, Rai has bought nomination papers to contest from both Jamshedpur East and West.
The adjoining Jamshedpur East seat is currently represented by chief minister Raghubar Das.
Speaking to his supporters in Jamshedpur Rai on Sunday indicated that his ticket is being delayed because some people in the party ‘disliked him’.
“Even in cabinet meeting I raised issues. Even said that we are following Madhu Koda’s path,” Rai said, telling his supporters he would continue to speak against corruption.
Former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda, an accused in a corruption case, was recently denied permission by the Supreme Court to contest assembly elections.
The suspense over the Jamshedpur West seat has persisted as BJP has kept the ticket pending with less than 24 hours left to file nominations.
The BJP district unit in Jamshedpur Sunday late night reportedly announced BJP will field Devendra Singh from Rai’s seat. The decision leaves little scope for rapprochement between CM Das and his minister.
Raghubar Das will also file his nomination papers from Jamshedpur East on Monday. It would be interesting to see if Rai decides to contest as independent from one seat or both East and West Jamshedpur.
Rai has been a minister in all BJP governments in Jharkhand but has been vocal in raising issues within the government as well.
A section in the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has been in favour of supporting Rai’s candidature against CM Raghubar Das. But the ally Congress may want to contest the seat.