New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, who was one of the strong contenders for a Rajya Sabha ticket, has been denied it for now.
Sources from Jharkhand while speaking to IANS cited four main reasons behind this.
The return of Babulal Marandi to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is one of the main reasons why Das has not been given a Rajya Sabha ticket, said sources. Three recent decisions of the top brass of the BJP clearly show that Marandi, after rejoining the BJP, has the same hold in the party which he used to enjoy while he was the Chief Minister.
After becoming the Leader of the Opposition, Marandi asked the party leadership to make Deepak Prakash the state President and also got him a Rajya Sabha ticket. The top leadership also sent a message to the state unit that all the decisions related to the state will be taken after the consent of Marandi.
Sources said if Das had been given the ticket, the message would have gone that both Marandi and Das are being given equal importance. The BJP is now taking the suggestions of Marandi as its non-tribal card failed and now the party wants to focus on tribals in the state.
Secondly, some MLAs are also angry with Das. Source said more than a dozen MLAs, who were not given importance in the Raghubar Das-led BJP government, requested the leadership to give the ticket to someone else but not Das. This gave a message to the leadership that if Das is given the Rajya Sabha ticket then there might be cross voting against him.
Saryu Rai is the third reason why Das has been denied the Rajya Sabha ticket. Sources said the party needs 27 MLAs to win one seat while it has only 26. In such a situation, if Rai supports the BJP candidate, then the party won’t have to seek support from the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).
Rai, who is also from the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) background, left the party because he was denied an Assembly ticket by Das. If the party had fielded Das, Rai would not have voted for him whereas Das might give his vote to Prakash.
The fourth reason is the AJSU, a former ally of the BJP. The BJP will need one vote to win one seat of Rajya Sabha. If the AJSU, which has two MLAs, supports the BJP then it will be a cakewalk for the party.
Das’s behaviour is one of the reasons why the AJSU broke the alliance with the BJP during the Assembly elections. This is the reason why Deepak Prakash has been fielded as the Rajya Sabha candidate in place of Raghubar Das.
Talking about Das, a Jharkhand BJP leader told IANS: “There are several speculations about Das but the truth is that the top leadership of the party is not angry with Das. If he is not given the Rajya Sabha ticket then he might be given responsibility in the national team of party President J.P. Nadda. He has prior experience also.”
When Amit Shah was the party President, Das was made National Vice President.
(Navneet Mishra can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)