RANCHI: Making a dent in the Opposition’s stronghold is a major challenge for the BJP, as it has never registered victory in seven of the 16 seats in Jharkhand’s Santhal Pargana.
Campaigning for the fifth and last phase ended on Wednesday, which will vote on Friday with a total of 237 candidates in fray. The fifth phase is a challenge for the BJP as seven seats here are reserved for Scheduled Caste, supposed to be the traditional vote bank of the JMM. In 2014 Assembly polls, JMM was on top by winning six seats, while the BJP got five, Congress three and JVM two seats.
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Incidentally, PM Narendra Modi held two rallies at Dumka and Barhait in the Santhal Pargana, where JMM executive president Hemant Soren is contesting. Since BJP has never won Barhait, Littipara, Pakur, Maheshpur, Shikaripara, Jarmundi, and Sarath seats, therefore, the saffron party has put in considerable effort to open its account in these seats.
The entire state BJP team, including CM Raghubar Das and Union Minister Arjun Munda, were seen camping in Dumka so that they could win the confidence of the people. BJP leaders, however, claimed that they succeeded in removing the misconception among the people of Santhal Pargana in which Modi played an important role.
“Since Santhal Pargana is said to be a JMM bastion, we are making our move cautiously so that more seats could be won. BJP wants to win 10 seats in order to be safe,” said a senior BJP leader.