As the Mahagathbandhan emerged victorious in Jharkhand, their CM candidate and JMM chief Hemant Soren, on Monday thanked the people of Jharkhand for the mandate, in conversation with Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami. Commenting on whether it was a 'Congress-led' or 'JMM-led' coalition, he said that it was important that the coalition had defeated BJP. He also said that only BJP can comment on if they lost the elections due to their decision to contest independently.
"The voters of Jharkhand are responsible for this mandate and I wish to thank them," he said. When asked who led the coalition, he added, "Let them debate on this, it does not matter to me. But it is true that in our coalition there was Congress, JMM and RJD. We fought together and we were victorious in defeating BJP."
Commenting on BJP's strategies, he said."We don't know how BJP thinks. If we form coalition or not they have an issue with it- calling us 'Thagbandhan'not 'gathbandhan'. Only BJP can comment if not forming coalition hurt them."
Commending BJP rebel Saryu Rai who currently leads CM Raghubar Das by 167135 votes in the Jamshedpur East poll battle, Soren said that it was a brave decision. Slamming the BJP for shunting its opposers, he said many people deserted the party due to this. He added that Rai's decision to contest on his own against Das made the election more interesting.
"Saryu Rai did a very brave act. He has performed as per his character. Whoever has raised their voices against were shunned by BJP. Not just Saryu Rai, there were many such leaders who fought independently or joined other parties. It is sure that after Saryu Rai's decision, the elections became more interesting" he said.
Hemant Soren who had contested from both Dumka and Barhait, like 2014, has won both seats as per EC trends. In Dumka, Soren won by a margin of 13188 votes and in Barhait he won by a margin of 25740 votes. Soren who was Jharkhand CM from July 2013- December 2014, is set to be CM again.
Recent EC trends show BJP leading in 25 seats. Meanwhile, JMM leading in 30 seats, Congress on 16 seats, RJD on 1 seats, and Babulal Marandi's JVM on 3 seats. The halfway mark in the 81-seat Assembly is 40 seats.