A leader credited with exposing several scams over the past decades has been left out of the Jharkhand BJP's list of candidates for the upcoming state elections at a time when the party is already facing mounting criticism for allegedly fielding politicians with criminal antecedents.
Saryu Roy's name failed to appear in the party's fourth list of candidates for the five-phase elections last week, spurring a decision to contest against Chief Minister Raghubar Das himself as an independent candidate in Jamshedpur East. He filed his nomination from the constituency after quitting the cabinet as well as the state assembly earlier today.
Saryu Roy had exposed several corruption scandals, some in undivided Bihar and others after the formation of Jharkhand, resulting in the conviction of former Chief Ministers Lalu Yadav, Jagganath Mishra and Madhu Koda. He cited his past record as an anti-corruption crusader to issue a warning to the Chief Minister today. "Raghubar Das is Raghubar daag. Even Modi detergent and Amit Shah laundry can't save him this time," he quipped.
The disgruntled politician had earlier alleged that BJP chief Amit Shah was upset with his proximity to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. "It seems like I am destined to send a fourth Chief Minister to jail," he said, claiming that the existing corruption rackets in Jharkhand were ten times greater than Bihar's fodder scam.
Even before Nitish Kumar returned to the National Democratic Alliance in 2017, Saryu Roy had openly come to his defence when some BJP leaders demanded that he be tried in the fodder scam too. This resulted in his own party colleagues accusing him of shielding the Janata Dal United chief.
While Raghubar Das downplayed Saryu Roy's act of rebellion by saying that every individual is free to contest the elections on their own, neither he nor his party colleagues were willing to take on the anti-corruption crusader's criticism of their decision to field "tainted politician" Bhanu Pratap Sahi from the Bhawanathpur assembly constituency.
Sources said Saryu Roy was particularly angered over the Chief Minister kicking off the poll campaign for Bhanu Pratap Sahi, who has been chargesheeted in the Rs 130-crore medicine scam, from Bhawanathpur.
Apart from the Chief Minister, Saryu Roy will also face Congress candidate Gaurabh Bhallabh in Jamshedpur East on voting day.