The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress on Sunday released the first list of its candidates for the Assembly elections in Jharkhand. The polls will be held in five phases from November 30 to December 20 and the votes will be counted on December 23.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das will contest from Jamshedpur (East) and state BJP chief Laxman Giluwa will fight from Chakradharpur.

BJP Working President JP Nadda at a press conference in Delhi claimed that corruption in the state had gone down under the leadership of Das. He added that Jharkhand is now known for stability and development.

“An atmosphere of positive cooperation is seen in Jharkhand,” he added. “Raghuvar Das ji is getting support from all sections of the society. Changes have been seen in the last five years due to the BJP government.”

The Congress, which has allied with Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Rashtriya Janata Dal, released the first list with five names. The party fielded state chief Rameshwar Oraon from the Lohardaga constituency.

All the five candidates are from seats that will go to polls in the first phase on November 30.

Under the seat-sharing agreement, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha will contest in 43 constituencies, the Congress in 31 and the Rashtriya Janata Dal in seven.

The Congress’ state in-charge, RPN Singh, had made the announcement at a press briefing along with JMM leader Hemant Soren on Friday. However, no RJD leader was present. When asked about the absence of a RJD representative, Soren said, “There are some questions and we are sorting them out. All the three alliance partners are on the same page”.

The alliance will contest the polls under the leadership of Hemant Soren and he will be their chief ministerial candidate, Singh had added. “There will be no friendly fight in any seat between the alliance partners, and if anyone contests, strict action will be taken against him by the respective parties.”

The seat sharing between the ruling BJP and the All Jharkhand Students Union is not announced yet.

The term of the 81-member Assembly ends on January 5 next year. Chief Minister Raghubar Das-led Bharatiya Janata Party is hoping to retain power in the state once again. In the 2014 Assembly elections, the saffron party won 35 seats and alliance partner All Jharkhand Students’ Union won five seats. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha was the largest Opposition party with 17 seats, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) won eight seats and Congress managed to win only six seats.

Jharkhand will be the third BJP-ruled state to head to polls since last month after Maharashtra and Haryana.

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