The BJP and the AJSU together won 42 seats in the previous Jharkhand election in 2014.
As votes for the Jharkhand election were counted on Monday and the ruling BJP and the rival Congress-Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) appeared to be locked in a close battle in the early rounds, both sides had started working the phones for alliances in case of a hung verdict.
Two men, Sudesh Mahto of the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) and Babulal Marandi of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM), prepped to play kingmakers as they received phone calls from the lead players in the race.
Sources say the BJP, which remains the single largest party is in touch with Sudesh Mahto.
The BJP and the AJSU took power together after the previous Jharkhand election in 2014. This time, the Sudesh Mahto-led party snapped ties with the BJP and decided to go it alone.
While the rival JMM-Congress inched close to the majority mark, the Congress reportedly also phoned old ally Babulal Marandi.
The BJP was leading on 31 seats and the Congress-JMM-RJD alliance on around 40 seats nearly three hours into counting. The AJSU and the JVM were leading on five and four seats.
A party needs 41 seats for a majority.
Reports suggest the BJP is also in touch with Babulal Marandi along with the AJSU.
Sudesh Mahto is leading from the Silli seat. Babulal Marandi is ahead on Dhanwar seat. Both had lost three elections each since 2014. Mr Marandi lost the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the 2014 assembly election.
Mr Mahto also lost in the 2014 national and assembly election and the Silli by-polls last year.
For both the men, this election is critical for their political resurgence in Jharkhand.
Phones Buzz As 2 Likely Kingmakers Emerge In Jharkhand Leads
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