Patna: RJD chief Lalu Prasad's son Tej Pratap greets Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during the later's swearing-in ceremony at Gandhi Maidan in Patna on Friday. PTI Photo  (PTI11_20_2015_000147B)
Patna: RJD chief Lalu Prasad's son Tej Pratap greets Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during the later's swearing-in ceremony at Gandhi Maidan in Patna on Friday. PTI Photo (PTI11_20_2015_000147B)

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U national president Nitish Kumar will launch election campaign for Jharkhand Assembly polls on August 25. In the elections to be held in November this year.

JD-U has decided to contest all 81 seats against Bihar coalition partner BJP, president of Jharkhand unit of JD-U Salkhan Murmu announced here on Sunday.

Murmu said BJP is dangerous for the Constitution of India. In the 2014 Assembly elections, JD-U was an ally of the Congress in Jharkhand but failed to win any seats. BJP had won 37 and its ally AJDSU five. Later, six members of the Jharkhand Vikash Morcha too joined BJP. Now, BJP has fixed a target of 65 plus in the 81-member House.

On Friday, the core group of the central leadership of the JD-U met here at Kumar’s residence and it was decided that JD-U will not enter into any alliance with the BJP in the tribal-dominated state.

"JD-U wants to project itself as an alternative to BJP in Jharkhand, where the Grand Alliance is divided," Murmu said.

Former chief minister of Bihar and president of HAM(S) on Sunday commented that the Grand Alliance was hell-bent on committing suicide in Jharkhand as the alliance partners are divided based on their self-interests while BJP is already in the campaign mode.

RJD in Jharkhand is literally defunct with its state unit president Anapporna Devi joining the BJP before the Lok Sabha elections, and her successor Gautam Sagar Rana forming a parallel RJD.

Another partner of the Grand Alliance, JVM is in a bad shape as its general secretary and MLA Pradip Yadav has been jailed on the charges of criminally assaulting one of the party leaders in a hotel in his constitutency.

JD-U, which is a key partner of NDA in Bihar, will emerge as a strong challenger to the BJP as Jharkhand has a strong presence of Kurmi and Mahto voters (the caste of Nitish kumar) and in 29 constitutencies, their presence is decisive.

Several BJP leaders on Friday joined the JD-U in presence of Nitish kumar. They had come from Gumla, Latehar, Garwah, Dumka, Palamu and Ramgarh.

By CHHAYA MISHRA

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