Senior BJP leader and Jharkhand minister Saryu Roy announced on Sunday he will contest as an Independent candidate from both the assembly seats in Jamshedpur in the upcoming state elections, taking on chief minister Raghubar Das from his constituency of Jamshedpur (East).
The state minister for food and supply, who has often put his own BJP-led government in the dock, had given a hint about his next course of action on Saturday.
Roy had bought nomination forms for his seat of Jamshedpur (West) and Das’ Jamshedpur (East) constituency.
Saryu Roy late on Sunday night announced in Jamshedpur that he would fight only from Jamshedpur (East) seat against the CM and not against the BJP candidate from Jamshedpur (West) seat where the party has now fielded Devendra Singh.
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He had also said while speaking to reporters on Saturday he had informed his party’s leaders that he pulling out of the race for a ticket from his seat and that they were free to field any candidate “they feel most suitable and capable”.
The central leadership of the BJP is yet to declare a candidate for the Jamshedpur (West) even though the deadline for filing the nomination paper for the seat ends on Monday. The seat goes to polls in the second phase of voting on December 7.
On Sunday, Roy made his intentions clear and said he will fight from both Jamshedpur (West) and Jamshedpur (East) assembly seats. He said he took the decision after consulting with seven BJP mandal office bearers and workers at his Bistupur residence in the morning.
“I am going to fight from Jamshedpur (East) seat to take on the man whom the party has made the face of this election. My supporters also requested me not to leave my sitting Jamshedpur (West) seat at the mercy of corrupt crooks and looters, hence I will file nomination from both Jamshedpur seats on Monday,” Roy said amidst huge applause from a crowd of supporters at his home.
The senior leader said people from Jamshedpur (East) asked him to fight from the seat when he had gone to Bhubaneshwari Temple in Telco area of the steel city on Saturday.
“They told me we will give you votes and notes both. You need not worry, just fight from here. The workers have promised to fight from Jamshedpur (West) on my behalf while I will spend time in Jamshedpur (East) to tell them what irregularities were committed during the last five years,” said Roy.
The 68-year-old politician from Bihar’s Buxar has been opposing some of the decisions taken by the state’s Bharatiya Janata Party government alleging irregularities off and on, often putting him in confrontation with the senior leadership.
Roy has filed a petition against the state’s mining department, state advocate general, Moharda water project and questioned the drainage and sewerage project by Singapore-based Meinhardt (Singapore) Pte Ltd in the state capital of Ranchi.
The leader, who emerged onto the political scene along with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad and BJP’s Sushil Modi during the JP movement, has been instrumental in sending Lalu and former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda to jail in the Rs 950 crore fodder and Rs 4000 crore mining scams.
“I don’t want to be the cause for third CM going to jail,” he has said in the past.
He had not been attending the state cabinet for 11 months to protest some these decisions, which his detractors within the party allegedly used against him during the decision about the ticket distribution.
Political circles in the state were also agog with talks that chief minister Das had himself vetoed him the ticket from the Jamshedpur (West) seat.
Roy said Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks about zero tolerance to corruption and that’s what he has been doing.
“The problem is when I raise corruption issues, some people have a problem and brand it as anti-party activities. Only 5% corruption issues raised by me have come out in the public, now I will expose the remaining 95%,” he said.
The elections to the 81-member Jharkhand assembly will be held in five phases beginning November 30 and the counting of votes will take place on December 23.
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