As the official trend from the Election Commission shows that BJP is trailing in Jharkhand, sources said that the saffron party has reached out to AJSU. Sources also said that it has offered the deputy CM post to AJSU. Both the parties had a fallout ahead of elections in the state and fielded their individual candidates. Currently, BJP is leading on 29 seats, and AJSU on 3 seats while JMM+ is leading on as many as 41 seats. Polling for the 81-assembly seats in the state was held in 5 phases on November 30, December 7, 12, 16, 20.
BJP broke ties with its 19-year-old alliance partner All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) ahead of the polls. The BJP said that it cannot accept the "unrealistic demands" of the AJSU. The saffron party said that the decision was made by the party high command in consultation with state leaders.
AJSU party chief Sudesh Mahto has been demanding 17 seats. Ahead of finality on the poll alliance, his party had announced its first list of 13 candidates, which included five constituencies namely Simaria, Chakradharpur, Sindri, Lohardagga and Mandu, for which BJP had already announced its candidates. Relations between the two allies strained after AJSU announced a candidate in Chakradharpur against BJP state unit chief Giluwa.
A top BJP leader, on condition of anonymity, told Republic TV, "AJSU party has become a bit too ambitious by demanding 17 seats. In the last assembly election, they had contested eight seats. We were willing to give them 10 seats, with a friendly contest on three seats. But it is not acceptable to AJSU chief. It's wishful thinking. AJSU did not follow the alliance dharma by fielding a candidate against four candidates of BJP, including state BJP president Laxman Giluwa. They also inducted BJP MLA Radhakrishna Kishore who was denied ticket by BJP and later join AJSU. This is against alliance dharma. We have no option, but to contest all 81 seats of Jharkhand. We have already announced 54 candidates and very soon we will announce the rest of 27 candidates. People of Jharkhand will support BJP."
The Jharkhand assembly elections recorded the overall voter turnout of 65.17% compared to the 66.53% recorded in the 2014 elections. For the first time since Jharkhand's creation 19 years ago, Assembly elections to all the 81 seats passed off without violence by Maoists. Of the 5,389 polling stations in the state, 396 in maoist -affected areas were marked "critical" and 208 as "sensitive". 1,088 male candidates, 27 women nominees, and one third-gender candidate were in the fray for the 81 seats.