The Bharatiya Janata Party and the All Jharkhand Students Union will contest the upcoming Jharkhand Assembly elections separately as they failed to finalise a seat-sharing agreement, NDTV reported. The saffron party is left with no other ally as Lok Janshakti Party had on Tuesday announced it will contest the elections alone.

The decision was taken at a meeting between BJP President Amit Shah, party’s working president JP Nadda and senior leader Om Mathur on Thursday.

Of the 81 seats, the BJP will contest 80 seats and support Independent candidate Vinod Singh in the Hussainabad constituency. The party also released its third list of 15 candidates for the polls on Thursday, taking the number of candidates announced to 68.

Reports said the AJSU asked for 19 seats, but the BJP was not willing to give more than nine seats. Even as the talks for seat sharing were underway, the AJSU had released its first list of 12 candidates on Monday, leading to confusion as it fielded candidates in three constituencies where its ally BJP had also announced candidates.

The developments in Jharkhand come at a time time when the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena have parted ways over disagreements in Maharashtra.

The term of the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly will end on January 5 next year. Chief Minister Raghubar Das-led BJP is hoping to retain power in the state once again. In the 2014 Assembly elections, the saffron party won 35 seats and ally AJSU had bagged five seats. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha was the largest Opposition party with 17 seats, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) won eight seats and the Congress managed to win only six.

The upcoming Assembly elections will be held in five phases from November 30 to December 20, and the votes will be counted on December 23.

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