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Jharkhand assembly elections 2019: 12 things you need to watch out for

Almost every political party is in favour of increasing reservation benefits for OBC. BJP has promised voters it would OBC quotas, without affecting the existing quotas for STs and SCs in the state.

, ET Bureau|
Dec 07, 2019, 01.06 PM IST
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Raghubar Das is the first chief minister in the state to complete a full tenure.
Will Jharkhand's first non-tribal chief minister Raghbar Das get a second term in office? Can standalone regional parties like the AJSU and JVM affect poll outcome in many constituencies? How much will the issues of water forest and land influence voter preferences? Here's a list of 12 things to watch out for in Jharkhand assembly elections 2019.

1. Stability: Raghubar Das is the first chief minister in the state to complete a full tenure. So the BJP is using that as a campaign point to seek votes for forming a stable government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his , elections meetings appealed to voters to let his party form the government with a full majority. BJP has fielded its candidates in 79 out of the 81 seats. It has not fielded any candidate against AJSU's Sudesh Mahto, and has supported a candidate in the remaining one constituency.

2. OBC votes: Almost every political party is in favour of increasing reservation benefits for OBC. BJP has promised voters it would OBC quotas, without affecting the existing quotas for STs and SCs in the state.

3. Jal, Jangal aur Zamin(Water, forest and land): Opposition parties are accusing the BJP of making an attempt to make amendments in the CNT (Chotanagpur Tenancy Act) and SPT (Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act ) which deal with the land owned by tribals in Jharkhand. This is a sensitive issue. BJP has been countering all such allegations. Poll results will show BJP’s popularity among tribal voters.

4. Future of Hemant Soren: JMM working president Hemant Soren is the main face of the opposition alliance “Mahagathbandhan” comprising the JMM, Congress and RJD. These elections matter much to his political career. Although his father Shibu Soren is campaigning this time, it is Hemant Soren who is presented as the face of the alliance.

5. JVM factor: Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) headed by former chief minister Babulal Marandi has fielded its candidates in most of the constituencies. Its performance may affect outcome in many areas.

6. BJP MPs: Out of a total 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand, the BJP bagged 11 seats in the 2019 general elections, while its ally got one seat. BJP has reportedly tasked its MPs to ensure a good show by party candidates in the assembly seats which are part of their Lok Sabha constituency. All the BJP MPs are spending good time in their constituencies to improve the prospects of party candidates.

7. AJSU factor: Sudesh Mahto-headed All Jharkhand Students’ Union could not enter into any alliance in the assembly polls this time. The party has fielded its candidates in more than 50 seats. The party’s performance will show its growth in the state in the last five years.

8. National issues and BJP: Apart from its pitch on development, the BJP has also highlighted national issues like scrapping of article 370 the Ram temple in Ayodhya and NRC in order to woo voters. The party would be watching closely the effect of these issues in the assembly elections.

9. JMM’s grip over tribal voters: JMM is trying to present it as the face of tribal voters in this election. Its popularity among tribals will be tested in this election.

10. BJP rebel Saryu Rai: This election will decide the future of BJP rebel Saryu Rai who is in the fray in Jamshedpur assembly seat as an independent nominee against chief minister Raghubar Das.

11. Fate of former bureaucrats: Former IAS officer J B Tubid is trying to enter the state assembly from Chaibasa seat as a BJP nominee. In 2014, he was defeated by JMM's Dipak Biruva in the same seat. He has been frequently visiting Chaibasa in the last five years. Similarly, Lohardaga will decide the fortune of former IPS officer and former MP Rameshwar Oraon. Former IPS officer Rezi Dungdung is contesting from Simdega as a nominee of local political outfit.

12. BJP in tribal areas: Raghubar Das is the first non-tribal chief minister of the state. So, BJP’s performance in tribal areas would be politically significant.

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