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Jharkhand Exit Polls Give Edge to Congress-JMM-RJD Combine as BJP Predicted to Fall Short

The exit poll conducted by IANS-C-Voter predicted that JMM and the Congress will together garner 31-39 seats in the 81-seat assembly, while the India Today-Axis My India exit poll gave 38-50 seats to the Congress-JMM alliance.

News18.com

Updated:December 20, 2019, 9:30 PM IST
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Jharkhand Exit Polls Give Edge to Congress-JMM-RJD Combine as BJP Predicted to Fall Short
JMM supremo Hemant Soren (left), Congress leader R.P.N. Singh (centre), Congress Jharkhand president Rameshwar Oraon (second from right), along with RJD leaders. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: With voting for the fifth and last phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections coming to an end on Friday, exit polls have predicted that the pre-poll alliance of Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal is likely to emerge as the single largest coalition and may go on to form majority in the assembly.

The exit poll conducted by IANS-C-Voter predicted that JMM and the Congress will together garner 31-39 seats in the 81-seat assembly, while BJP is predicted to get 28-36 seats. The pollster predicted 3-7 seats for AJSU (All Jharkhand Students Union) and 1-5 seats for JVM (Jharkhand Vikas Morcha).

The India Today-Axis My India exit poll gave 38-50 seats to the Congress-JMM alliance with 22-32 for BJP. JVM, according to the pollster, may get 2-4 seats with AJSU ending up with 3-5.

Exit poll results, however, need to be taken with a grain of salt as they often fail to hit the mark. Votes will be counted on December 23 to decide the fate of the candidates.

The state saw a six-way battle with two national parties, the ruling BJP and main opposition party Congress battling it out with the smaller regional parties like AJSU Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and Rashtriya Janata Dal trying to play a major part in this assembly elections.

The JMM fought in 43 seats while its alliance partners Congress and the RJD fought in 31 and seven seats, respectively.

According to data released by the Election Commission, Jharkhand has a total of 2.26 crore eligible voters. The number of polling stations that are being used by voters across the state is 29,464. This number is 19 percent higher than in 2014.

Raghubar Das, Jharkhand’s only chief minister to complete a tenure, is leading the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s campaign to retain power.

Political experts had suggested that the BJP might be facing severe headwind in Jharkhand, especially after its performance in Haryana and Maharashtra Assembly polls. In Haryana, the party failed to get majority on its own and had to forge a post-poll coalition with Dushyant Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). In Maharashtra, it was dumped by one of its oldest allies, the Shiv Sena, to form a government with rivals Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), after a month-long tussle.

Some of the factors that may have resulted in BJP’s under-par performance in Haryana and Maharashtra are also applicable in Jharkhand.

In 2014, in North Chhotanagpur comprising Assembly constituencies from seven districts of Koderma, Hazaribagh, Ramgarh, Chatra, Giridih, Bokaro and Dhanbad, BJP had won just one of the 25 seat in this region in 2009. However, in 2014, its tally jumped to 13. Just like in the Santhal Pargana region, BJP’s rise came mainly at the expense of Congress and JVM.

It was also able to win Hazaribagh, Dhanbad and Bokaro seats for the first time in the state.

In South Chhotanagpur, comprising Assembly constituencies from five districts of Ranchi, Khunti, Gumla, Simdega and Lohardaga, the BJP-AJSU alliance had emerged as the dominant force in this region. Of the 15 seats here, BJP and AJSU together won 10. These included seats in the state capital Ranchi.

In Kolhanm comprising of Assembly constituencies from three districts of East Singhbhum, Seraikella-Kharsawan and West Singhbhum, BJP’s tally in this region fell from six in 2009 to five in 2014. While it gained three seats from Congress and JVM, it lost four seats had held to the JMM.

The saffron party also won both seats in Jamshedpur.

In Palamu comprising of Assembly constituencies from three districts of Latehar, Palamu and Garhwa, BJP had won four of the nine seats here. The JVM and the Congress won two and one seat, respectively. Navjawan Sangharsh Morcha (NSAM) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won one seat, each.

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