BJP banks on Raghubar Das as Jharkhand CM

Ranchi (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Central leadership is banking on Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and has denied ticket to his detractors for the state's upcoming Assembly polls.

The BJP has made it clear that Das will be the face of the party in the elections to the state's 81-member Assembly which will take place in five phases from November 30 to December 20.

The polls were spread over 21 days because of the Naxal problem that poses a security challenge. Counting of votes will take place on December 23.

The saffron party's ally, All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), has also not been taken into consideration.

"We have not been consulted on the issue," udesh Mahto, AJSU President, told reported here.

The BJP on Sunday announced a list of 52 candidates for the elections.

Das has been fielded from Jamshedpur East, while the BJP's Jharkhand unit chief Laxman Gilua will be contesting from Chakradharpur.

The BJP has put the names of Ministers, Saryu Rai and Neelkanth Singh Munda, on hold.

"This is first list. The party must be deliberating on names. Let the second list come out," said Rai, who has been critical of the Chief Minister and also the functioning of the Jharkhand government.

The other important legislator whose name been put on hold is Biranchi Narayan.

The other key people who were denied a ticket included sitting Chattarpur MLA Radha Krishna Kishore who was also the chief whip of the NDA in the Assembly, Simdega MLA and former Cabinet Minister Bimla Pradhan, Borio MLA and former state BJP chief Tala Marandi.

Other seats from where the sitting MLAs have been denied tickets included Hare Kishan Singh from Manika, Shiv Shankar Oraon from Gumla, Laxman Tudu from Ghatshila, Sanjeev Singh from Jharia, Phoolchand Mandal from Sindri, Jai Prakash Singh Bhokta from Chatra and Ganesh Ganjhu from Simaria.

The BJP has given ticket to defectors of the other parties. Five legislators from JMM and Congress who defected just before the poll dates were announced have been given tickets.

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