Jharkhand elections: Cong-JMM surge ahead in early trends
Trends from Jharkhand indicate that the Opposition combine of the JMM, Congress and RJD was ahead in as many as 41 seats against the BJP after over two hours of counting for the state Assembly elections on Monday.
While the BJP was leading in 29 seats, it's former ally, the Sudesh Mahto-led Ajsu Party was leading in three seats. In the 81-member Assembly, 41 constitute a majority.
The Congress and its ally JMM said on Sunday that the BJP’s likely defeat in Jharkhand Assembly elections, as predicted by some exit polls on December 20, would not only change the ideological map of state politics but also reflect the mood of the nation with this being the first election after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
The ruling BJP, however, played down such claims and said that the outcome of a state election hardly had any bearing on national politics.
Forty-one happens to be the magic number to form a government in the 82-member Jharkhand Assembly (81 elected, one nominated).
CM Raghubar Das, whose political career depends not merely upon his personal victory from Jamshedpur East, but also on how the BJP — that had set a target of paisath paar (beyond 65 seats) — as a whole performs, spent Sunday in closed-door meetings at his official residence.
Key stakeholders of Jharkhand politics — from BJP leader and incumbent CM Raghubar Das to UPA’s chief ministerial face Hemant Soren — are waiting for Momentous Monday to decide their political fortunes.
State Congress president Rameshwar Oraon told The Telegraph Online that an electoral debacle in Jharkhand would send a message across the country that BJP was losing ground. “It will also show that people were no more willing to be diverted…It will be a strong reply to the saffron party which tries to divert people’s attention from issues related to their welfare.”
He added that people across the country were opposing the amended citizenship Act but the BJP government was not ready to roll it back.
“Even the British rulers had rolled back the controversial Salt Act when people of this country under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi had launched a protest against it, but the present government is not rolling back the CAA which shows its arrogance,” Oraon added.
Echoing its ally, the JMM also claimed that Jharkhand elections was a sort of first referendum on the controversial CAA and the BJP’s defeat would clearly spell out that the people of Jharkhand had rejected it by voting against its architects.
JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya said: “A defeat for the BJP here would send a strong message across the country that divisive politics of BJP has no takers. The outcome of Jharkhand elections is significant for national politics because this is the first election after enactment of CAA in the country.”
BJP, however, dismissed any such significance,
“State elections hardly affect national politics. There have been instances in the past when we lost state elections but went on to script resounding victories in the Lok Sabha elections in the same states,” BJP Jharkhand election co-in charge Nand Kishore Yadav said. Barely seven months ago, the BJP-led NDA had won 12 out of 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand.
Counting of votes polled at 29,464 booths of 81 Assembly constituencies of the state is being held on Monday at 24 centres, one each in as many districts.