As the vote-counting for Jharkhand assembly election begins on Monday, the fate of the incumbent Chief Minister Raghubar Das is at stake due to fierce competition by the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) led alliance comprising of Congress and Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD).
As per the exit polls, the ruling BJP seems to fall short of the half-way mark in the 81-seat Assembly. The Republic Jan Ki Baat Exit Polls have predicted the BJP failing to cross the halfway mark in the 81-seat Assembly. The Congress-JMM-RJD (UPA) alliance is predicted to have an edge over the incumbent BJP government. The incumbent BJP is facing a tough fight in the following key constituencies - Jamshedpur East, Chakradharpur, Litipara, Baghmara, and Jharia.
After Maharashtra and Haryana, Jharkhand is the third BJP ruled state that went to polls this year. BJP despite emerging the largest party couldn’t retain power in Maharashtra after ally Shiv Sena switching allegiance and forming a post-poll alliance between with NCP & Congress; also BJP could retrain Haryana only with the help of a post-poll alliance with Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), hence the Jharkhand election becomes crucial for BJP. The incumbent party is fighting a lone battle against Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-led alliance which includes Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
Raghubar Das took oath as Chief Minister in 2014 after the BJP won 37 seats and stitched an alliance with AJSU, which had won 5 seats. However, AJSU broke ties with BJP and is contesting the current elections solo.
Under the leadership of JMM chief Hemant Soren, Congress and RJD have come together to oust BJP from power. While the JMM has fielded candidates in 43 seats, the Congress and the RJD are fighting for 31 and seven seats, respectively. The ruling party has fielded its candidates in 79 out of the 81 seats.
In case of a hung Assembly, AJSU and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha -Prajatantrik could be calling the shots. According to the Election Commission of India, the approximate voter turnout for all the 81 Assembly constituencies across the five phases was 65.17 percent as compared to the 66.53 percent recorded in the 2014 elections.
(With ANI inputs)