Jharkhand minister Saryu Roy on Sunday said he would contest against Chief Minister Raghubar Das, who belongs to his own party, as an Independent candidate in the upcoming state elections, PTI reported. Roy’s name has not featured in the four candidate lists that the Bharatiya Janata Party has released so far.
Roy, who holds the Food, Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs portfolio, said he would resign from Das’ Cabinet on Monday and file his nomination papers from the Jamshedpur (East) and Jamshedpur (West) Assembly constituencies.
Roy is the current MLA from the Jamshedpur (West) seat, which he had won in the 2014 polls. Das holds the Jamshedpur (East) seat.
He said, according to the Hindustan Times: “I am going to fight from Jamshedpur (East) seat to take on the man whom the party has made the face of this election. My supporters also requested me not to leave my sitting Jamshedpur (West) seat at the mercy of corrupt crooks and looters, hence I will file nomination from both Jamshedpur seats on Monday.”
Unidentified party officials earlier told NDTV that the BJP would not give a ticket to Roy due to his “anti-party” behaviour that has upset the leadership. On Saturday, Roy had wished Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s chief ministerial candidate Hemant Soren a “bright future”. He also said he had told the BJP that it could field anyone “suitable and capable” on his seat as he was pulling out of the race.
The elections for all 81 Assembly seats in Jharkhand will be held in five phases from November 30 to December 20 and the votes will be counted on December 23. The BJP has released names of candidates for 72 seats.