The former Chief Minister and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM-P) chief Babulal Marandi on Monday, December 23, hinted that he is open for an alliance with BJP. Sources have also said that BJP can make Marandi the CM in case it does not reach the majority mark in the State. Marandi is currently leading from Dhanwar seat.
Speaking to Republic TV, he said: "I am talking to my party cadre. I will take time and see what happens before taking any decision. After halfway through counting, we will have a discussion with my party. We will follow the role given to us by the voters."
Earlier when questioned over a probable post-poll alliance, he told Republic, "I keep talking to the leaders of other parties." "Let the result come in, it has just started, we will know soon. After that the party will sit together and make a decision," Marandi added. JVM-P has fielded 81 candidates in the elections.
The BJP which had a fallout with its ally All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) and Lok Janshakti Party LJP), faces the formidable combination of Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and other parties like LJP, AJSU, JVM. CM Raghubar Das who is eyeing his second consecutive term faces a tough challenge from former CM and JMM chief Hemant Soren.
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 Naxal-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.
The BJP and its allies AJSU, LJP who were initially touted to jointly contests the polls had a fallout leading to both parties fielding their own candidates against their saffron ally. While there is a possibility of AJSU and LJP joining a post-poll alliance with the BJP. The incumbent party faces a tough fight in the following key constituencies - Jamshedpur East, Chakradharpur, Litipara, Baghmara and Jharia. PM Modi, Amit Shah, Yogi Adityanath, Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi have all campaigned actively throughout the state in all five phases.