PATNA: JD(U) president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will not campaign in favour of BJP rebel and former minister Saryu Roy who is contesting as an independent candidate against Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das from Jamshedpur East constituency in the ongoing assembly polls in the neighbouring state.
“There is no need of mine over there,” Nitish said while responding to a media query whether he would go to Jamshedpur to campaign for Roy, at the sidelines of an agriculture department’s programme here on Wednesday.
With this, the Bihar CM put to rest all speculations in political circles (of both the states) about his likely campaigning in favour of Roy.
Speculations about Nitish going to campaign in favour of Roy (or against the Jharkhand CM Das) were rife in the political circles of both the states since Tuesday after JD(U) Leader in the Lok Sabha and Munger MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh told media persons at Ranchi that the Bihar CM would campaign in favour of the BJP rebel “If Roy requests”.
Lalan Singh, who is considered a close associate of Nitish Kumar, had also said on Tuesday that “the JD(U) has decided to support Roy. Our prospective candidate has been withdrawn from the Jamshedpur East seat.”
Nitish’s name came in the limelight of Jharkhand polls on Monday after Roy, who resigned from the post of cabinet minister on Sunday night and decided to contest against his own CM Das, publicly claimed that his closeness with the Bihar CM could be one of the reasons behind the BJP denying him the party symbol to contest from his traditional Jamshedpur West seat. Roy won the seat in 2005 and 2014 but had lost to the Congress candidate Banna Gupta in 2009 polls.
Jamshedpur town has three assembly seats. In the last 2014 assembly polls, Roy as the BJP candidate won from Jamshdepur West for second time, Das won from Jamshedpur East for fifth consecutive term and Jugsalai seat was won by Ram Chandra Sahis of the All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU) for second consecutive time.
“At least three members of the BJP’s Parliamentary Board, which approves candidates list, informed me that the release of one of my books by Nitish Kumar at an event in Patna in 2017 was strongly raised and probably this cost me the party’s symbol to contest from Jamshedpur West,” Roy told media persons In Jamshedpur on Monday.
Nitish had released “Samay Ka Lekh”, a book authored by Roy at an event in Patna in December 2017. Roy was then a cabinet minister in the Raghubar Das government. Nitish and Roy know each other since decades. Both had participated in the Bihar movement of 1974 which was led by Jayaprakash Narayan.
In the meantime, the JD(U) national general secretary and Bihar’s industries minister Shyam Rajak on Wednesday campaigned in favour of his party’s Garhwa candidate Patanjali Kumar Keshri by addressing a public meeting at Meral high school ground at Ranka in Jharkhand.

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