Jharkhand result will shrink BJP footmark further: Sharad Pawar
The mandate JMM-Congress alliance received in the Jharkhand Assembly election underlines a new pattern that will help reduce the BJP's saffron footprint across the country, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Tuesday.
Pawar also congratulated Chief Minister-designate and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren, who promptly thanked the NCP patriarch and said the former Union minister's battle in Maharashtra has been inspiring for his party.
The Jharkhand Assembly poll result, announced on Monday, saw the opposition JMM-Congress-RJD alliance storming to power in the tribal-dominated state, ending the five-year rule of the BJP.
Jharkhand, which came into existence in 2000, is the fifth state where the BJP has lost power over the past one year.
The saffron outfit lost control over Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to the Congress in December last year.
In another setback to the Amit Shah-led party, its ally in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, walked away and joined hands with the Pawar-led NCP and the Congress to form government in the state late last month.
'Congratulations to @HemantSorenJMM for the stunning electoral victory of the alliance in the Jharkhand polls.
'The Jharkhand mandate underlines a new pattern which will help the process of reducing the BJP's saffron footprint across the country,' Pawar tweeted.
Soren responded on the micro-blogging site saying, 'Thank you so much @PawarSpeaks ji. Your battle in Maharashtra has been inspiring for all of us.'
Maharashtra NCP chief and minister Jayant Patil replied to Soren's comment on Twitter, saying change is taking place across the country taking inspiration from Pawar's battle in the western state.
The Maratha strongman has been credited for reversing the NCP's dwindling fortunes in the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly polls after several party leaders switched loyalties to the BJP and the Shiv Sena, virtually causing existential crisis for the 20-year-old outfit.
NCP leaders think 79-year-old Pawar's Maharashtra poll campaign helped the party win 54 seats in the state, 13 more from its 2014 Assembly election tally.
The former Union minister is also considered as being instrumental in taking the NCP back to power in the state by stitching an alliance with the Shiv Sena and the Congress after the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, seen as ideological opponent of the two outfits, severed ties with the BJP.
The NCP is a key ally in the Sena-led government in Maharashtra.
In Jharkhand, the JMM, Congress and RJD collectively won 47 of the state's 81 seats. The BJP bagged 25 seats, down from 37 it had won in 2014.