Nitish Kumar's JDU has announced its support for rebel BJP candidate Saryu Rai against Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das from Jamshedpur East Assembly constituency. The support for Saryu Rai has come in from JDU a day after Rai had told media persons in Jamshedpur that his close proximity to Nitish Kumar was also one of the reasons for him being denied a ticket by the BJP high command from Jamshedpur west, which he represented in the last election.
Nitish Kumar's close confidante and JDU MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh praised Saryu Rai's crusade against Raghubar Das government's corruption for the past 5 years. In a press conference in Ranchi, JDU MP Lalan Singh said, "We welcome the decision of Saryu Rai to contest from Jamshedpur East against Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das. He has been raising the issue of corruption for the past 5 years despite being a part of Raghubar's cabinet. Imagine, Saryu Rai has been denied ticket for raising corruption issue. If Saryu Rai requests Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, then he will surely campaign for him and JDU will support him."
Saryu Rai after being denied a ticket by the BJP, tendered his resignation as minister and also as an MLA. Rai has pledged to expose Raghuvar Das's involvement in corruption. Saryu Rai, on Tuesday again reiterated, "The stain of corruption against Raghubar Das is so deep that it cannot be washed by Modi detergent and Amit Shah laundry. I will start exposing them from tomorrow. I have written about it several times in the past about his irregularities when I was a part of the cabinet. People will fight for me. This constituency is new to me. I have decided to expose him. He has also humiliated BJP workers and often called them 'Chirkuts'. Its a stain on BJP's bhagwa. He is 'Ragubar daag' and not Raghubar Das."
On Nitish Kumar's party's support to him, Saryu Rai said that "Nitish Kumar's party came and met me pledging their support. I don't know if Nitish Ji will come and campaign for me or not. It's for him to decide." Saryu Rai's proximity to Nitish Kumar dates back to their student days, when both studied together in the prestigious Patna Science College and were also a part of the JP Movement in 1974. In 2017, Saryu got his book on Madhu Koda's mining scam inaugurated by Nitish Kumar in Patna much to the displeasure of BJP leaders. Not only this when Nitish Kumar had parted ways with the BJP, Saryu Rai had also praised Nitish Kumar. Rai, being an old RSS man is getting secret support from many BJP leaders and workers as well. But this open support of JDU to Saryu Rai will not go down well with the BJP high command and it may have its bearings on 2020 Bihar Vidhan Sabha elections. JDU is not in alliance with BJP in Jharkhand, and is contesting on 80 seats except for Saryu Rai's constituency.