After parting ways with AJSU in Jharkhand over seat-sharing, BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has now sent an olive branch to AJSU chief Sudesh Mahto citing him as a younger brother. Pradhan while addressing a rally in Jharkhand said, "AJSU will be a part of the NDA government after elections are held. He is like a younger brother and a close friend of BJP. We have worked together".
Dharmendra Pradhan's statement has come after Home Minister and BJP national president Amit Shah had stated at a media event that BJP will work together with AJSU and the latter will be a part of the government. AJSU chief Sudesh Mahto has said, "it's not a time for friendship with BJP, but we are in the wrestling arena of Jharkhand elections against BJP and my party's stand of demanding 17 seats from BJP in the alliance will be vindicated. We will show our presence".
BJP and AJSU have been alliance partners in Jharkhand for 19 years but parted ways as the AJSU has demanded at least 17 seats in 2019 assembly election as against the 8 seats that AJSU contested in 2014. BJP was willing to share only 10 seats with a friendly contest on 3 seats.
AJSU has fielded candidates on 26 seats. With a threat of a hung assembly looming large and taking a cue from the embarrassment in Maharashtra, BJP President Amit Shah and Dharmendra Pradhan have already softened their stand towards the AJSU and have termed Sudesh Mahto as a friend and ally of BJP. In the first phase, 13 assembly constituencies have already gone to the polls. Polling in the remaining 78 constituencies will be held in the next 4 phases and counting of votes will be done on December 23.