BJP ignored Kurmi community, says lone AJSU MP from Jharkhand

Upset at not being made a Minister, Chandra Prakash Choudhary says its impact will be visible in upcoming Assembly election

Published - June 12, 2024 04:26 am IST - Patna

Giridih MP Chandra Prakash Choudhary of the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), an ally of the BJP, has expressed his disappointment at not being inducted into the new Cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand, the BJP had contested on 13 whereas one was allotted to the AJSU.

On June 9, a total of 72 members of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) took oath as Ministers at a ceremony in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Of them, 61 Ministers were from the BJP and 11 from its alliance partners.

From Jharkhand, two BJP MPs have been included in the Cabinet – Koderma MP Annapurna Devi and Ranchi MP Sanjay Seth. However, the AJSU, which won one seat in the State, did not get any representation in the Cabinet.

Kurmi factor

Mr. Choudhary hails from the Kurmi caste, the second largest bloc among the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in Jharkhand after tribals. “Last time also, the BJP neglected the AJSU despite having full majority. This Lok Sabha election, it was expected that all political parties would get representation in the Cabinet. Even the single MP party [Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) from Bihar] has been inducted into the Cabinet, why not the AJSU? It is very unfortunate because I deserved to be in the Cabinet,” he told The Hindu

Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi has been included in the Modi Cabinet and given the portfolio of micro, small and medium enterprises.

Mr. Choudhary pointed out that his community had been ignored by the BJP and its impact would be visible in the Assembly election due later this year. “If I was not made Minister, another leader from our community, Bidyut Baran Mahato [of the BJP], should have been inducted into the Cabinet. The people from our community are also angry and they will express their anger in the upcoming Assembly election in Jharkhand. Despite having two MPs from our community, we were ignored.”

‘Name was in list’

On the day of the oath-taking ceremony, Mr. Choudhary name was making rounds in the media circles. “The BJP did not even specify the reasons why the AJSU has been ignored because in the beginning we were informed that the AJSU would be considered. Being the alliance partner in Jharkhand, we should have been given representation in the new Cabinet. My name was there in the list; however it was dropped at the last minute,” Mr. Choudhary said.

Mr. Choudhary won the second consecutive term by defeating Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) candidate Mathura Prasad Mahato whereas three-term MP Bidyut Baran Mahato defeated JMM candidate Sameer Mohanty in the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat.

Asked about the alliance partner’s grouse, Jharkhand BJP spokesperson Pratul Sahdev said, “The AJSU is a long and trusted ally of the BJP and we have always fought the tough battle together. Our big challenge is to dislodge this corrupt [JMM] government in the coming Assembly election. All is well. AJSU president Sudesh Mahto attended the NDA coordination meeting in Delhi, he was also there for the swearing-in. Whatever small problems are there, will be solved within the forum of the alliance. The alliance stands as one in its goal to make India the third biggest economic power in the world, and we are also one in Jharkhand to dislodge the present government.”

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