Dumka witnessed a battle of loyalty between eight-time MP and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief, Shibu Soren and BJP's Sunil Soren who is Shibu Soren's own political protégé, with the seat ultimately won by BJP's Sunil Soren by garnering 4,83,748 votes, as of 10:00 PM.
Poll campaign issues:
Dumka which is an ST-reserved seat is an underdeveloped area which faces an urgent need for infrastructure. While the 30% tribal population traditionally favour the JMM, the BJP had voraciously campaigned in the Santhal Pargana region of Jharkhand.
The 75 year old former Chief Minister of Jharkhand - Shibu Soren who was the face of the Jharkhand statehood movement in 2000 holds major command in the region due to his agitation against money lending practices, protests for tribal rights and fighting for the preservation of water, forests and land in the area - earning him the moniker 'Guruji'.
Guruji's 'shishya' - Sunil Soren has unsuccessfully contested twice against Shibu Soren and only managed to win the Assembly polls for Dumka's Jama district. While Shibu Soren frail health, lack of public appearances and his record as an MP had stirred doubts among the voters, JMM's chances were always good as their party symbol (bow and arrow) traditionally attracts the Santhal population which finds familiarity in it in spite of their illiteracy.
To counter its unfamiliarity in the region, BJP had organized a rally by the Prime Minister himself in the neighbouring constituency of Deoghar, to woo the tribal voters and in hopes of swinging the votes in BJP's favour.
Dumka has constantly voted for Shibu Soren who has won the seat in 1980, 1989, 1991, 1996, 2002,2004, 2009 and 2014.
The BJP made inroads into Jharkhand when Babu Lal Marandi was sworn in as the first Chief Minister of the newly formed state in 2000 having won the Dumka seat in 1998 and 1999.
Dumka polled in the final phase of the Lok Sabha polls on May 19.
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