*Representational Picture courtesy IPRD, Jharkhand
The ruling BJP led by Chief Minister Raghubar Das in Jharkhand has several plus and minus ahead of the Assembly polls 2019. Though the Election Commission has not announced a schedule of these polls till date, the ruling party is faced with the charge of misgovernance.
Many roads are pocked with potholes. Most government schools are free from competent teachers. A number of state government-run hospitals lack doctors, nurses and medicines. Hours of power cuts in towns including the state capital Ranchi are a day-to-day affair.
The continuity of these problems during the Raghubar Das government's five years (2014-2019) tenure has troubled many citizens. Also, it has raised a pertinent question: why these basic problems of the people remain unresolved?
The fact is Das government was formed after the ruling BJP under the Narendra Modi wave had secured a majority in 81-member Jharkhand Assembly in 2014. Throughout the past five years,Modi government had strongly backed the Das government. Many a time Modi and the party president Amit Shah were on record having praised the 'performance' of Das as the CM of Jharkhand.
Das, in turn, claimed that 'the double engine' government has brought 'all-round development' in the state. In official records, such claims were published in the form of booklets, each published by the Information and Public Relations Department.
It is possible these 'claims' must have been taken 'positively' by the Union government led by Modi and Shah to appreciate his government time and again.
The grass-root reality questions it. And even a BJP supporter who does not want to be named describes it as part of the Das government's 'propaganda'.
Be that as it may, there is a plus side as well. This government's achievements were no less. For instance, apart from finding a solution to the age-old domicile trouble, it had adopted employment policy, provided jobs, transferred ailing Patratu Thermal Power Corporation's plants to NTPC and made efforts to invite investors under the banner of 'Momentum Jharkhand.'
Since no government in the past 19 years, since Jharkhand was created in 2000, had succeeded in doing so, the BJP's 'double engine' government led by Das has managed to swim through, causing panic button among divided opposition parties.
Result? A score of Opposition leaders in Jharkhand are switching sides to the BJP in the state, where elections are expected to be held in November-December this year.
These leaders belong to Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). They have either already joined the BJP or are about to do so.
For instance, after the RJD’s former parliamentarian Manoj Bhuiyan, who is now in JMM and JVM-P leaders Kushwaha Sashi Bhushan Mehta and Prakash Ram is going to join ruling BJP.
It is learned that Mehta and Ram will wear saffron caps and switch over to the BJP on October 3 and October 5 respectively.