Campaigning for the five-phase Jharkhand elections from November 25 is in full swing but the two main rival fronts fighting for power have not yet named their candidates for the chief minister’s post. Both Congress-Jharkhand Vikas Morcha and BJP-JD(U) have decided to take up the issue after the poll results.
There is a reason for this reticence. By projecting a candidate for the post, they run the risk of triggering intra-party feuding ahead of the polls. Since the Congress and BJP together put up a large contingent of candidates — 60 and 67 respectively — for the 81-member House, they are expected to emerge as major players in deciding the state’s next chief minister.
Within the Congress, the non-tribal name being circulated is that of Union minister of food processing Subodh Kant Sahay, who represents Ranchi in the Lok Sabha. Marandi, who is leading the campaign for the Congress-JVM across the state, is also a strong contender for the coveted post.
The BJP looks a divided house. While party president Rajnath Singh is understood to be inclined to award the post again to Munda, a tribal leader, another central leader Arun Jaitley is learnt to be backing former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, a non-tribal, for the post.