Looks like the tables are turning for the BJP. In another jolt, after the All Jharkhand Student Union (AJSU) which ran with it for 19 years split from the alliance, BJP’s principal spokesman and a frontrunner in the fight for Jharkhand’s statehood, Praveen Prabhakar resigned from the party right in the middle of all the action on Sunday.
Prabhakar, who had been associated with the BJP for the past five years, was one of the founding members of the AJSU that fought the 2014 Assembly election in alliance with the BJP. He now plans to contest elections separately from a ticket by the National Peoples’ Party (NPP) because he is reported unhappy with the BJP’s ticket distribution in the state.
He told IANS that though he had learnt a lot from PM Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, he thought that the party needed to do some introspection. He said he didn’t have any personal grievances with the BJP but said that the party needed to do some “soul searching” with regards to Jharkhand. He said that “the nation was progressing on all fronts, but in Jharkhand, the aspirations of the people were being constantly snuffed. I dedicated all I had for the creation of Jharkhand (as a separate state) and will continue to fight all my life for its development. I have full faith that I will get the assistance and guidance of NPP leaders in this endeavour…”
Prabhakar will now fight from Nala for NPP which is headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma. He joined as the candidate during the national convention at the Constitution Club where he was named to fight from Nala.
The NPP was recently recognised as a national party by the Election Commission. Conrad Sangma, who was present at the convention along with former Union Minister Agatha Sangma and Meghalaya Home Minister James Sangma and NPP’s Jharkhand chief Raj Kumar Poddar said that Prabhakar’s association would help the NPP increase its footprint in Jharkhand and other states and thus “all would together help achieve the late Sangma’s dream”.
The BJP has received a huge blow to its popularity in other state assembly elections recently. In Maharashtra it had to bow out after its alliance went sour with the Shiv Sena over the same issue – seat sharing; and now it’s not unlikely that a similar fate awaits the party in Jharkhand.
After Prabhakar’s switch, reports have emerged that PankajaMunde, BJP’s MLA from Parli in Maharashtra, has removed the name of BJP from her official Twitter bio, Yahoo News reported.
She has asked time off for some soul-searching herself.
In her Facebook post she says, “Looking at the changed political scenario in state, there is a need to think and decide the way ahead. I need time for some 8-10 days to communicate with myself. Our future journey need to be decided against the backdrop of current political changes. “What to do next? Which path to be taken? What can we give to people? What is our strength? What are expectations of people? I will think about all these aspects and come before you on December 12.”
While the BJP in Maharashtra is kept in suspense over Pankaja’s stance, Union Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh has claimed that BJP will form a majority government in Jharkhand post the assembly elections. India Today reported that Singh, while addressing a meeting at Adityapur in Seraikela-Kharswandistruct said he had a discussion with a cross-section of people as well as analysts after the first phase of the polls.
“The feedback indicated that the BJP is going to win 9 to 10 seats out of the 13 constituencies that went to polls in the first phase yesterday… We will form a majority government in the state,” the Union Defence Minister said.
He said moves of the BJP like abrogating Article 370, making ‘triple talaq’ punishable by law and the announcement of a grand temple in Ayodhya are going to work in its favour.
The BJP has been humble-bragging about these issues everywhere it goes for elections. This time around, though the split from AJSU, Prabhakar’s switch and the fact that Jharkhand is in a socio-economic crisis may bring a shock to the BJP once the results are out.
Will the BJP heed Prabhakar’s call and actually do some soul-searching as it has already lost face over the same seat sharing matter in Maharashtra? Will it give up its arrogance and power-hungry demeanor to accommodate the demands of the AJSU to get back in alliance with them?
BJP relies heavily on speeches and sloganeering, but with its principal spokesman from the state not speaking in favour of it, will ‘Abkibaar 65 paar’ be achievable for the party?
AJSU breaks alliance, BJP will now contest the assembly elections alone
Protest against starvation and govt apathy in Jharkhand on Friday
BirsaMunda’s Jharkhand slipping out of Adivasi hands
Rajasthan Local Body elections: Congress wins (863) over BJP (661)
BJP’s Hate Mongers out of Karnataka By-Poll Campaign
Saffron Fades: Maharashtra State Elections 2019