The Congress in Jharkhand retaliated to Hazaribagh MP Jayant Sinha’s elevation to the Union council of ministers on Sunday, alleging that it amounted to a violation of the model code of conduct.
“Our pradesh general secretary has written to the Election Commission of India, pointing out that the elevation gives an undue advantage to one political party ahead of the elections,” said Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Ajai Rai.
Despite the Congress’s protestations, Sinha’s induction as MoS (Finance) has come as no surprise. He was expected to get a seat in the council of ministers right after the Lok Sabha poll results were declared.
However, the Jharkhand allocation was driven by demographic compulsions and the seat under the state’s quota went to Sudarshan Bhagat, an RSS favourite.
Bhagat, an MoS who has been moved out of social justice ministry and now sent to rural development ministry, remains detached from BJP’s activities. Instead, he is seen with Sangh workers.
The elevation of Sinha, a Harvard alumnus who seldom misses a chance to talk about his academic credentials, is largely being seen as well-deserved. However, it remains to be seen how the BJP cadre in the state reacts to it.
Sinha has made extensive use of social media to inform people about the welfare activities in his constituency since he was elected in the Lok Sabha polls in May. But, he has little influence beyond the perimeters of Hazaribagh.
His appointment will be a fillip to father and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, whose camp will feel strengthened by today’s development. Conversely, the Arjun Munda led faction in the state will feel further isolated from the party leadership.
With the Winter Session of Parliament approaching, it will be interesting to see how much time the new junior minister devotes to campaigning in the state, which is gearing up for the assembly polls.
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