Jharkhand Assembly election 2019: Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) backs BJP rebel Saryu Roy’s candidature against Raghubar Das

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Updated: Nov 20, 2019 9:25 AM

Saryu Roy is contest against Chief Minister Raghubar Das from Jamshedpur (East) seat. The polling here will take place on December 7.

Saryu Roy is contesting against CM Raghubar Das from Jamshedpur (East) Assembly seat.

The Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar has declared that it will support former Jharkhand minister Saryu Roy in his bid from the Jamshedpur (East) in the upcoming Assembly elections. Roy, a longtime BJP leader, is contesting against Chief Minister Raghubar Das from here as in independent candidate.

Senior JD(U) leader and Munger MP Lalan Singh told reporters on Tuesday that the party leadership welcomes Saryu Roy’s decision to contest from Jamshedpur (East) against Raghubar Das. The party has already asked its official candidate Sanjay Thakur for Jamshedpur (East) and Sanjiv Acharya for Jamshedpur (West) to withdraw from the fray. The two seats will go to polls on December 7.

“We will extend all possible support to Saryu Roy. Every one of us will camp in Jamshedpur if need be,” Lalan Singh said.

Singh added that if Saryu Roy requests JD(U) national president Nitish Kumar to campaign for him, the party will request the Bihar Chief Minister to campaign in Jamshedpur (East), the seat Das has been representing since 1995. The JD(U) MP noted that Roy has been raising the issue of corruption in the state despite being a part of the Raghubar Das government.

Roy is a senior politician from Jharkhand. He was instrumental in exposing corruption during RJD’s regime in undivided Bihar. He served as minister of Food and Supply Department in the outgoing Raghubar Das government. Roy, however, resigned on Sunday after he was denied a ticket to contest from Jamshedpur (West).

When Roy’s name didn’t figure in the BJP’s list of candidates for the Assembly elections in Jharkhand, he announced to enter the fray from Jharkhand (East) against CM Das as an independent candidate. It is believed that the BJP leadership was unhappy with his stand on various issues. Despite being in the government, Roy raised his voice against corruption in high places.

Roy is also believed to be a close associate of Nitish Kumar. On Monday, Roy openly said that his closeness with Nitish Kumar could be one of the reasons for the BJP denying him a ticket. According to his claim, at least three members of the BJP Parliamentary Board that approved candidates list told him that release of his book by Nitish Kumar in 2017 was strongly resented and probably this cost him the party nomination.

Besides JD(U), the AJSU Party has also extended support to Roy. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha of Hemant Soren has also pledged him support in the election.

This is for the first time in the Jharkhand’s two decades of history when a leader who served under a CM is crossing swords with him in the polls. The state will go to polls in five phases between November 30 and December 20. The results will be announced on December 23.

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