Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who was lodged in Hazaribagh central jail since June 3, was granted bail on Wednesday and would be released on Thursday. With his release will begin a new episode — what began as an apparent agitation aga-inst poor power supply in the district, has now become a race to be the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in the Assembly elections, expected to be held this November.
Sinha’s lawyers had filed bail applications for him and 52 supporters on Tuesday after L K Advani visited him in jail.
Advani’s visit was the high point in what has been an eventful fortnight during which Sinha along with son Jayant — the newly-elected MP of Hazaribagh — has taken the initiative from three-time CM Arjun Munda. Now, Munda has to stand by and suffer in silence as Yashwant’s friend Shatrughan Sinha and his one-time mentor Advani endorsed the former Union finance minister’s ambitions.
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Meanwhile, the agitation which he spearheaded has had a domino effect across the state. It led to Yashwant’s incarceration after he admitted that members of the BJP’s women’s wing had tied up Jharkhand State Electricity Board general manager Dhanesh Jha on June 2 on his instructions. Therefore, after implicating himself into the case and ensuring arrest, 76-year-old Yashwant did a Kejriwal by refusing to apply for bail.
Though some might say the stir changed nothing — power cuts of upto 12 hours a day continue unabated even in Hazaribagh town — Yashwant’s team claims credit for the fact that Besh village in Katkamdag block has been electrified.
With Sinha’s release and the arrival of monsoon, the pitch of the agitation may come down. But Sinha has made his point — the BJP in Jharkhand has discussed loudly the possibility of a non-adivasi CM for the first time.