May 11, 2019 3:55:52 am
With seven seats in Jharkhand set to go to polls over the next two phases, state BJP Lok Sabha elections in-charge Mangal Pandey speaks to The Indian Express on his party’s prospects, rebellion within the BJP over tickets, and key issues of the state missing in the party’s manifesto. Excerpts:
What is your estimate of BJP’s performance this time in Jharkhand?
The BJP and its ally AJSU are working on one front and we will win more seats than the last election (in which they won 12 out of 14 seats). The opposition is scattered everywhere and the JMM, Congress and others were seen fighting. For example, in Chatra they have a mahagathbandhan candidate from Congress and RJD has also fielded its candidate. RJD and Congress did not even share a single platform together. It is evident that there is conflict among them and to fight against the BJP, they have come together, but since all have different ideologies, they cannot form natural gathbandhan. Their issue isn’t development of Jharkhand, but the development of their own families..
Four BJP incumbents in Jharkhand have been denied ticket this time, like Giridih MP Ravindra Pandey who rebelled. What was the rationale behind it?
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The distribution of tickets is not my domain, the central election committee is involved in this. I cannot comment on it. However, the Giridih seat has been given to our alliance and naturally it had to be vacated. Our MP Ravindra Pandey is involved in this. He had publicly said that is not a meeting of two parties, but of hearts.
That happened later, initially he had warned the party to revoke its decision of not giving him the ticket…
I am not aware.It could be before the decision to field AJSU candidate. We have to make Narendra Modi our Prime Minister and therefore everyone is working in unison.
Incumbent Ranchi MP Ramtahal Choudhary had also rebelled openly and ran as an independent. Do you think it will hurt BJP sentiments as Choudhary, a leader of the Kurmi OBC caste, enjoys a huge support base?
Har kisi ka base BJP hai aur kisi ka koi vyaktgat base nahi hota. BJP mein jo kaam karta hai uske liye desh sabse pehle hota hai, tab party aur phir wo swyem. (Everyone’s base is the BJP and there is no personal base. For any BJP member, country comes first, then the party and then oneself). Ramtahal Choudhary’s exit is his individual choice, no one was affected.
The BJP’s manisfesto is said to be silent on people’s issues like reported starvation deaths, Aadhaar linkage to the PDS, and pension.
People who say this want to create a (hostile) environment against us and spread negativity. Electricity has reached in villages, gas connection has reached to every colony of villages in Jharkhand; roads are being constructed in every village…. There has been substantial difference under the Raghubar Das government. Please ask them if there was a road five years before… Naxalism has been controlled in which many young people wasted their lives-we gave them confidence. Aren’t these parametres to development?
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