Even as BJP rebel Saryu Rai leads from Jamshedpur East constituency of Jharkhand against incumbent Chief Minister Raghubar Das, he brushed aside the rumours of returning to the BJP fold. Speaking to Republic TV, he said that he will remain an independent candidate and will not ally with the BJP. He also said that he will not do anything to make the government unstable. He also clarified that he never demanded any post from the BJP. Currently, Rai is leading from the seat with 38988 votes while CM Das is at 30437 votes.
Earlier, incumbent CM Raghubar Das stated that the BJP is confident of victory and will form the next government. He had added that early poll trends may be misleading as only 2-3 rounds of counting had occurred. Talking about his own poll battle against BJP rebel Saryu Rai for the Jamshedpur East constituency, he said that he did not think Rai had dented his chances.
On being asked about his rival Saryu Rai, he said, "Had Saryu Rai caused damage, I would not have received the votes, which I did so far. Anti-BJP vote may have got polarised to Congress, JVM. Let me clearly state that we're not only winning but we'll also form govt under the leadership of BJP in the state.
The BJP which is facing the formidable combination of JMM-Congress-RJD is currently leading in 31 seats. Meanwhile, JMM leading in 23 seats, Congress on 12 seats, RJD on 4 seats, and Babulal Marandi's JVM on 3 seats. The halfway mark in the 81-seat Assembly is 40 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. Meanwhile, there is a possibility of AJSU and LJP joining a post-poll alliance with the BJP.
The most contentious seat - Jamshedpur East, held by CM Raghubar Das is being challenged by BJP rebel and former minister Saryu Rai, who is contesting as an independent candidate. Das, who is eyeing his 6th consecutive win faces a tough challenge from his own former cabinet minister. Rai was instrumental in exposing former Bihar CM Lalu Yadav in the fodder scam and exposed the multi-crore Iron Ore Mines allotment scam under former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda. This constituency has been held by Raghubar Das since 1995.