By Navneet Mishra
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party is “extremely conscious” of its performance in Jharkhand, where polling for the five-phase elections began on Saturday, as it feels its poor performance could cast its shadow on its arithmetic in Delhi polls due early next year and in Bihar and West Bengal in 2021. The party has started contemplating over the post-poll scenario in Jharkhand where it is going it alone, breaking away from the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU). BJP President Amit Shah in a recent interview to a news channel said the party would keep its post-poll alliance with AJSU, triggering speculation in political circles about saffron party’s intentions.
A BJP leader told IANS that the party’s communications with AJSU have not completely broken down. “Seat adjustments might have forced us to part ways, but our relationship with AJSU is in tact. That’s why Shah spoke about alliance with AJSU,” he said.
Sources said the emerging equations in Jharkhand “do not seem very encouraging” for the BJP. “This is the reason the party has kept its options open as far as AJSU is concerned,” said a source. “The BJP thinks if AJSU, which has a substantial influence among tribal voters, is able to get a few seats from the reserved constituencies (ST) in the first phase of voting, then the party may have to get AJSU’s support in case it fails get a majority in the 81-member Assembly,” said the source.
On the other hand, AJSU chief Sudesh Mehto has said: “It will be others, who would extend support to me not the other way round.” He dropped enough hints that AJSU would have the advantage in the post-poll permutations and combinations.
BJP sources said that after struggling hard to form a government in Haryana for a second time and allowing Maharashtra to slip away, the party does not want the perception to gain ground that the party is gradually on the wane. Only a strong and assertive victory in Jharkhand can help the party to regain its rhythm early this year after Lok Sabha results, party sources said.