As poll trends show BJP failing to win a second term in Jharkhand, the incumbent CM Raghubar Das, on Monday, stated that the BJP is confident of victory and will form the next government. He added that early poll trends may be misleading as only 2-3 rounds of counting had occurred. Talking about his own poll battle against BJP rebel Saryu Rai for the Jamshedpur East constituency, he said that he did not think Rai had dented his chances. Das is currently only leading by 156 votes.
"There are many seats where the margin of votes is in thousands, so it is early to say anything. Only 2-3 rounds of counting has happened." On being asked about his rival Saryu Rai, he added, "Had Saryu Rai caused damage, I would not have received the votes, which I did so far. Anti-BJP vote may have got polarised to Congress, JVM. Let me clearly state that we're not only winning but we'll also form govt under the leadership of BJP in the state.
The BJP which is facing the formidable combination of JMM-Congress-RJD is currently leading in 27 seats. Meanwhile, JMM leading in 25 seats, Congress on 13 seats, RJD on 5 seats, and Babulal Marandi's JVM on 4 seats. The halfway mark in the 81-seat Assembly is 40 seats.
The BJP and its allies AJSU, LJP who were initially touted to jointly contests the polls had a fallout leading to both parties fielding their own candidates against their saffron ally. Meanwhile, there is a possibility of AJSU and LJP joining a post-poll alliance with the BJP. Polling was held in 5 phases on November 30, December 7, 12, 16, 20 and results will be declared on Monday.
The most contentious seat - Jamshedpur East, held by CM Raghubar Das is being challenged by BJP rebel and former minister Saryu Rai, who is contesting as an independent candidate. Congress has fielded party spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh from the constituency. Das, who is eyeing his 6th consecutive win faces a tough challenge from his own former cabinet minister. Rai was instrumental in exposing former Bihar CM Lalu Yadav in the fodder scam and exposed the multi-crore Iron Ore Mines allotment scam under former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda. This constituency has been held by Raghubar Das since 1995.