Ex-minister Saryu Roy claims closeness with Nitish could havecost him ticket;files papers against

CM (Eds: adding details) Jamshedpur, Nov 18 (PTI) Former Jharkhand minister SaryuRoy, who filed nomination papers against Chief MinisterRaghubar Das from Jamshedpur (East) seat on Monday, said hiscloseness with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar could be oneof the reason for BJP denying him the ticket.

At least three members of the BJP Parliamentary Board,that approved candidates list, told me that release of my bookby Nitish Kumar in 2017 was strongly resented and probablythis cost me the party nomination, Roy told PTI.

Roy said he was at loss to understand this because Kumarhad returned to the NDA fold in July 2017 and formed acoalition ministry in Bihar.

There was no word on Roy's claim from the BJP side.

Asked for his reaction on Roys allegations that he wasdenied ticket following his closeness to Bihar chief minister,BJPs General Secretary Dipak Prakash said, 'I cant commenton this as it was the decision of Parliamentary Board of theparty.' Kumar, who had gone into 2015 Bihar polls with GrandAlliance with RJD and Congress had left the grouping in July2017 on the issue of graft charge against his then deputyTejashwi Yadav and once again joined hands with BJP to form aNDA ministry there.

'The book authored by me was apolitical and getting itreleased by Nitish Kumar is no crime,' Roy, who tenderedhis resignation from the Jharkhand ministry to take on the CMat Jamshedupur (East) assembly seat, said.

'This (release of the book by Kumar) may be one of thereason for the BJP not giving me the ticket,' he said.

The book 'Samay Ka Lekh', which was released by Kumar inPatna in December 2017, highlighted importance of publicfinance and disastrous results of mismanagement of it inmodern times with Bihar in its backdrop.

Roy claimed JD(U) as well JMM have pledged him supportin the election.

Kumar headed JD(U) is fighting Jharkhand polls on itsown.

Filing of nomination by Roy against Das has madeelection on the Jamshedpur (East) seat interesting.

This is for the first time in the Jharkhand's twodecades of history when a leader who served under a chiefminister is crossing swords with him in the polls.

While Das filed papers as the BJP candidate to win theseat for sixth term since 1995, Roy submitted nominationduring the day as an Independent for Jamshedpur (East) seat.

Peeved at being ignored by the BJP in nominating himfor this election, Roy had quit from the Raghubar Das cabineton Sunday night after announcing that he would contest fromhis sitting Jamshedpur (West) seat as well as Jamshedpu(East).

He had said his supporters will campaign for him from hissitting seat (Jamshedpur West) while he would focus on Dassconstituency.

However, Roy decided not to contest from the Jamshedpur(West) as in a late-night development the BJPs JamshedpurMahanagar president Dinesh Kumar announced the candidature ofDevendra Nath Singh as the party's candidate from there.

Both the constituencies are going for polls on December 7.

Roy held the Food, Public Distribution and ConsumerAffairs portfolios for the last five years in the BJP-led NDAgovernment before sending his resignation letter to GovernorDroupadi Murmu.

As per the convention, a minister sends his or her letterto the chief minister, who sends it to the governor with arecommendation to accept it.

Earlier, Parliamentary Affairs portfolio had also beenwith Roy but he asked the cm to divest him from it.

Remaining in the government, Roy had raised somecontroversial issues.

BJP leaders brushed aside any challenge to Das from Royor any other contestants.

The chief minister on Monday expressed confidence that hewould notch up a historic win from Jamshedpur (East) followinghis five years of developmental works in the state.

'I have full faith in the people of my constituency andI am very much confident that I will win with more than 1 lakhvotes than the last election margin of 70,000,' Das said,without mentioning his opponent Saryu Roy, who is contestingas an independent candidate from the same constituency.

Asked for his reaction over Roys decision to take on thechief minister, BJPs state unit president Laxman Gilua said,'The thumb rule of the party is that any BJP worker contestingagainst the partys official candidate is expelled for sixyears automatically.' To a query as to how much impact Roy could make inJamshedpur (East), Gilua said, 'There will be no impact asChief Minister Raghubar Das will win the seat with a historicmargin. He has been winning the seat for the last five termsand Jamshedpur (East & West) are BJPs bastion for the lastseveral years.' PTI BS PVRSNS SNS