Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das claimed on Wednesday that the party lost the state Assembly elections due to some traitors, and a malicious campaign run against him, the Hindustan Times reported.

The ruling BJP, which contested the polls alone, won 25 of 81 Assembly seats, results for which were declared on Monday. On the other hand, the alliance between the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal won 47 seats.

“Jaichands are present everywhere,” Das said in Ranchi, referring to Jayachandra, a 12th century ruler from the Gahadavala dynasty, who conspired with foreign invaders to ensure the defeat of king Prithviraj Chauhan of the Chauhan dynasty. “And the party lost due to few Jaichands. At times conspiracy succeeds. But success through conspiracy does not last for long. I have struggled to rise through the ranks and reach here. Struggle gives you power.”

Das also alleged that some people in the party ran a malicious campaign against him, labelling him arrogant and short-tempered, as they could find no flaw in him. “They say I am a Chhattisgarhi,” Das said. “It is true that my roots are there but I was born here.” Das made the remarks after paying homage to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birth anniversary.

The former chief minister also alleged that some people had targeted his family, instead of focusing on election-related matters.

Das himself lost the election in his constituency, Jamshedpur East, to Independent candidate and former BJP minister Saryu Roy. Das had handpicked BJP candidates in 14 Assembly seats in his home district of East Singhbhum, neighbouring Seraikela-Kharsawan and West Singhbhum, the Hindustan Times reported. All these candidates lost the polls.

However, the former chief minister added that he would continue to work for the country, the party and the state of Jharkhand. “Power comes and goes. That is the beauty of democracy,” Das said. “This is what Atal ji [Vajpayee] has taught us. We would continue to work for the nation, party and the state.”

Governor invites JMM leader Hemant Soren to form government

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha on Wednesday said Governor Draupadi Murmu has invited its working president and chief minister-designate Hemant Soren to form the government in the state, PTI reported. Soren had on Tuesday visited the governor’s residence and staked claim to form the government, saying that he had 50 MLAs on his side.

The agency quoted a source at the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi as saying that Soren’s swearing-in ceremony will be held on December 29. Soren had himself said this on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Soren said he had invited Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to his oath-taking ceremony, ANI reported. He said that Sonia Gandhi had assured him that Rahul Gandhi will attend the ceremony. Soren said he will also invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the event.