BJP fails to retain Jharkhand, JMM-led alliance comes through with flying colours

Political experts claim that the split in votes of BJP and AJSU, which contested separately, played a major factor in the debacle of the saffron party. 
Jharkhand CM-designate Hemant Soren in Ranchi (Photo | PTI)
Jharkhand CM-designate Hemant Soren in Ranchi (Photo | PTI)

RANCHI: In a major shocker, BJP failed to retain power in Jharkhand as people gave a massive mandate to the Opposition alliance – JMM, Congress and RJD, which is leading on 49 out of 81-member Assembly. BJP, on the other hand, is leading only on 21 seats. 

Political experts claim that the split in votes of BJP and AJSU, which contested separately, played a major factor in the debacle of the saffron party. 

JMM executive president and chief ministerial candidate of the opposition alliance Hemant Soren who termed the mandate as the victory of the people of Jharkhand said, "This is a victory of the people of Jharkhand towards making a socially inclusive and equitable state on the vision of Guruji and each and everyone who fought and formed this state."

JMM, so far, has emerged as the single largest political party leading on 29 seats, while Congress is ahead on 14 seats. 

The two regional parties - AJSU and JVM, which had chosen to go solo, got 3 seats each.

Prominent faces who were declared winners are – Hemant Soren from Barhait, Congress Chief Rameshwar Oraon from Lohardaga, AJSU Chief Sudesh Mahto from Silli, veteran Congress leader Rajendra Singh from Bermo, Congress candidate Amba Prasad from Badkagaon, Sita Soren of JMM from Jama, former minister Bhanu Pratap Shahi of BJP from Bhavnathpur etc. 

Chief Minister Raghubar Das, however, is still trailing behind on his home constituency Jamshedpur East. Political Pandits opined that, had BJP and AJSU had contested together, they would have won at least 8-9 more seats in Jharkhand. 

Moreover, attempts for making changes in land laws like Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, commonly known as CNT-SPT Act, also proved to be a major role for the failure of BJP in Jharkhand.

Several Opposition parties, including the Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) and social activists had come together to object to the state government’s proposed amendments to the Act, dubbing the move a ‘death warrant’ last year.

“Denying ticket to Saryu Roy, in one way or the other, has harmed BJP.  Moreover, the overconfidence of senior leaders, including Chief Minister Raghubar Das, also played a major role in its debacle,” said a political expert Avinash Kumar.  The strategy chalked out by senior party leaders in closed-doors, badly ailed as they could not mobilize their workers at the ground level, he added.

Kumar said that the Opposition succeeded in cornering BJP on the local issues due to which people rejected other contentious issues like Ram Mandir, Article 370 and triple-talaq highlighted by the saffron party.

“Projecting Chief Minister Raghubar Das as Chief Ministerial candidate by BJP also backfired as he is not liked by most of the people and BJP workers as well,” said Kumar. 

Besides that, anti-incumbency also remained a factor for BJP’s debacle in Jharkhand, he added.

Opposition leaders, on the other hand, termed it a defeat of BJP’s ideology which neither has any policy nor has the intention to solve the problems of the people of this State. “This is a defeat of BJP ideology which has neither policy not intended to solve the problems being faced by the people of this State. This is a defeat of BJP’s lust to remain in power by hook or by crook, even at the cost of peace and harmony of this Country,” said State Congress in-charge RPN Singh.

JMM General Secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya also asserted that people in Jharkhand cannot be fooled by highlighting the national issues. “One will have to understand the local issues have been troubling people here for the last several years, and they cannot be fooled by Ram Mandir or Article 370 as they are more concerned about the rising unemployment, shutting down of 14000 schools and opening of liquor shops by the BJP Government, handing over their land to the corporate houses and about illegal acquisition of farmland by making changes in Land Acquisition Act,” said Bhattacharya. 

This is a referendum given by the people of Jharkhand on CAA, he added.

BJP, however, will retrospect to find out whether going it alone in State polls was the right decision or not. “The ruling BJP has lost its way and is languishing below 30 seats. The party will analyse later, whether going to the elections alone was a right decision or not,” said Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda. 

The misinformation spread over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) by Opposition alliance made a negative impact on election results, he added.

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