The entire state of Jharkhand is currently in the state of jubilation with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress (INC) combine coming out winners in the Jharkhand Assembly elections. While the combine has won 48 seats, whereas the BJP has won 23 seats, the AJSUP won 3, JVM (P) won 3 and RJD won 3 seats. As it appears, JMM’s Hemant Soren is tipped to be the Chief Minister of the state. Any party needs to get 41 seats to form government in the state. The election in Jharkhand was held in five phases between November 30 and December 20.
After BJP’s defeat in Jharkhand NCP chief Sharad Pawar while addressing the media at his residence Silver Oak said, “The result of Jharkhand Assembly Polls that has come today clearly states that people are with non-BJP parties. After Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, people have decided to keep BJP away from power in Jharkhand also.”
But till the final results were declared there was a state of ups and downs between the BJP and the INC+ combine. It was excitement that ran all through all party functionaries.
While the JMM-led pre-poll alliance was leading on more seats, the BJP claimed that it was still the single largest party in the country. On his part, Chief Minister Raghubar Das had gone on record and declared that the fight was still close in several seats. “The BJP will form the government in the state,” he stated.
On the other hand, the Congress claimed that since theirs was a pre-poll alliance with JMM and the RJD, they should first to get a chance to stake claim to power.
Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut also hit out at the BJP, saying tribals and the poor people of Jharkhand have rejected the Modi- Shah led party.
From the recent happenings, it is clear that this trend of variation in voter behaviour is not just limited to Jharkhand. A similar case took place in states like Maharashtra and Haryana where the BJP either loss power or had to form an alliance to be in power.
In Maharashtra, BJP had contested both the Lok Sabha as well as the state elections in alliance with the Shiv Sena. While the Narendra Modi-led party had secured 53 per cent of the votes in the constituencies that it had contested in the general elections, this was reduced to 45 per cent during the assembly polls.
This brought its tally in the state from 122 in 2014 to 105 this time around. The party eventually failed to form the government in the state after its ally Shiv Sena broke the alliance to form a government led by its chief Uddhav Thackerey with the support of the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.
Similarly, BJP had registered a landslide victory in Haryana during the Lok Sabha elections in May where it won all the 10 seats available in the state. In a show of absolute dominance, the party secured an impressive 58 per cent of the total vote-share.
However, this was not the case during the assembly elections in the northern state in October this year. The saffron party failed to secure a majority on its own in the 90-member strong house as its vote-share plummeted more than 20 percentage points to 36 per cent. After falling short of its own lofty targets, the BJP had to offer the Deputy Chief Minister’s post to leader of rival party Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) Dushyant Chautala to form the government in Haryana. In 2018, BJP also lost the Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan assembly polls. All these states were known as BJP’s bastion. With BJP’s loss in Jharkhand the party has been reduced to 40 per cent Indian states as compared to 71 per cent back in December 2017. The Jharkhand Assembly poll loss is being seen as a major setback for the BJP as has come after the Citizenship Amendment Act and few weeks after the Supreme Court had issued a verdict clearing the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
By Ashish Mitra