Amid news of cracks in the ruling alliance, the BJP is trying to regain its lost ground in the state.

 

New Delhi: After being defeated in the Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is restructuring its Jharkhand unit and trying to regain its lost ground in the mineral rich state by mobilizing its cadres and making key organizational changes in the state. The recent appointment of Nagendra Nath as the regional organizing secretary with his centre being Ranchi, highlights that the saffron party had started its preparations on a war-footing in the state. It is also evident as the BJP is taking on the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-led Jharkhand government head-on in the state Assembly and on the streets. When the Jharkhand government allocated the room for Namaaz, the party workers protested in large numbers outside the Assembly and were lathi-charged and after that BJP observed “black day” across the state. The news of cracks within the ruling dispensation had also emboldened the party with experts not ruling out the probability of mid-term polls.

Jharkhand has always been the BJP’s bastion even when the region was part of united Bihar state. The BJP made its first inroads in the eastern India in this region (then South Bihar during 1990s) and it helped the party to increase its footprints in entire eastern India in the years to come which included politically important states like Bihar, West Bengal and Assam. The party had sidelined the former Chief Minister Raghubar Das under whom it lost the 2019 Assembly polls and had inducted Babulal Marandi, a former CM and once BJP’s stalwart in the state as its face in the legislative Assembly. Amit Shah himself came to Ranchi to induct Marandi in the party.

Many political observers believe that the BJP may be even thinking of an mid-term polls in the state as on multiple occasions, cracks within the ruling alliance had emerged on various issues with the loyalty of many ruling legislatures under the dock. Amitabh Verma, a political observer and former lecturer under Ranchi University, said: “We cannot guarantee the stability of the government. There was news of resentment among ruling alliance legislatures, the BJP is preparing hard in the state; it may not be a routine organizational exercise. Many top central leaders are visiting the state. AIIMS Deoghar has been inaugurated, an airport is about to be made operational. The other hypothesis is that the party wants to repeat its 2019 Lok Sabha performance and also strengthen itself in the state as the loss in the Assembly elections came as a shocker for the party. The loss of the sitting CM from Jamshedpur in the Assembly election under whom the party fought the polls had rattled the high command. The assumption was that something is seriously wrong with the working of the state unit. Therefore, Deepak Prakash was appointed as the state president and now Nagendra Nath has been stationed here. The party is focusing very much in the state.”

BJP leaders called the activities of the party as a routine exercise. Senior party leader and Member of Jharkhand Legislative assembly Randhir Singh, said: “The BJP is a cadre-based party unlike JMM and Congress which are personality driven or one family enterprise; hence party activities takes place 365 days and 24 hours. During the second Covid wave, it was the BJP’s MPs, MLAs and workers who helped, coordinated and facilitated the timely supply of medicine and other items to the needy. Even in the present Assembly session, we are raising people’s issues in the House.”

With the BJP’s preparations in full swing, it is more than certain that Jharkhand is among the states which need to be closely watched in the coming months in the Indian political landscape.