Jharkhand poses challenge to both BJP & opposition
While opposition sees it as an opportunity to make its presence felt in the state, there are still uncertainties over the possible formation of a grand alliance.
While opposition sees it as an opportunity to make its presence felt in the state, there are still uncertainties over the possible formation of a grand alliance. However, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren expressed confidence to resolve the issues. “The priority before the opposition is to remove BJP government in the state and all the opposition parties are united over this. The issue of seat-sharing will be resolved as we all are willing to form an alliance,” Soren told media persons on Friday after the Election Commission announced the poll dates for the state.
BJP has fixed a target of 65 plus seats in the 81-member assembly. However, going by the recent election results of the two states, chief minister Raghubar Das would be under pressure to perform as per expectations. In 2014, for the first since the formation of Jharkhand, one alliance had got majority in the state with BJP winning 37 seats and its ally All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) winning five seats. In 2015, six MLAs of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) had joined the BJP taking the party tally to 43. In the opposition, JMM had won 19 seats while JVM had won eight and Congress seven seats. Together, the vote share of the opposition was higher than that of BJP with 35.5% votes. In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP defied the opposition calculation and improved its performance and its vote share went over 50%. The party won 12 seats out of 14 as it had won in 2014. However, the contest on Khunti Lok Sabha seat was really close with BJP leader Arjun Munda winning it by 1,445 votes. Also, the recent trends suggest that people vote differently in Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
The fight in Jharkhand is for winning the tribals as they form 26% of the state’s population. Out of the 81 seats, 28 are reserved for tribals. BJP had won 13 tribal seats in 2014. The party would try hard to improve its performance in central schemes for tribals. Das has completed one phase of his Johar Jan Aashirvad Yatra and is addressing one or two rallies everyday.
On the other hand, JMM whose main plank is fighting for tribal rights is accusing the government of trying to grabs tribal lands. JMM will be the leading opposition party in the alliance with the Congress happily ready to play a second fiddle. In Lok Sabha, Congress had contested on seven seats, while JMM had contested on four.