Did BJP working president J P Nadda have prior inkling of the party’s electoral prospects in Jharkhand? Although the date for Jharkhand Assembly election counting was known much in advance, Nadda had scheduled a programme for Kolkata on Monday. This is slightly unusual, as the BJP usually organises a programme at party headquarters on the day of election results to celebrate electoral gains. As working president, Nadda should, thus, have been in the national capital on the results day. But given the shape of Jharkhand results, many in the BJP are wondering whether the working president had got a sense of things to come in Jharkhand, and consequently scheduled a programme outside the national capital.
The defeat of two former state Congress presidents in Jharkhand who had switched sides came as icing on the cake for the grand old party. While former state unit chief Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu, who contested on an AJSU ticket, finished third in Ghatsila, Sukhdeo Bhagat, who had joined the BJP before the polls, came second in Lohardaga. Bhagat’s defeat was sweeter for the party, as he was trounced by present state Congress chief Rameshwar Oraon. Sarfraz Ahmed, another former PCC chief, won. He was the JMM candidate from Gandey, a seat which the Congress was demanding from its ally – for Ahmed. The JMM did not part with the seat but sprang a surprise on the Congress by fielding Ahmed.
Reforms On Track
Even as the Railways attempts structural reforms by proposing to do away with all separate services and merging them into one Railway Service, it is being said by many that someone from outside the Railways may come as chairman, Railway Board, soon. The current chairman’s term is due to end this month, but the rumour is that the government might give him an extension to handhold the organisation as it undergoes the proposed reform process with minimum disruptions.