Jharkhand Lok Sabha Election Results 2019: BJP, which managed to hold the lead in 12 seats through the initial counting, is down to 10 seats - Dhanbad, Ranchi, Palamau, Hazaribagh, Chatra, Kodarma, Jamshedpur, Khunti, Godda, Rajmahal and Dumka- out of 14 constituencies. Congress takes lead in Singhbhum, Lohardaga and Khunti. While AJSU (All Jharkhand Students Union) is leading in Giridih and JMM in Rajmahal. Although Jharkhand has traditionally remained a BJP bastion since the early 1990s, the saffron party is up against a stiff opposition in the form of a grand alliance, the only one of its kind in India right now. Four opposition parties — the Congress, along with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (Prajatantrik) and the Rastriya Janata Dal (RJD) — were able to work out a seat sharing formula. The BJP’s continued victory in the state that it has dominated for decades depends on its ability to counter foes, both within and outside. Apart from battling its own anti-incumbency and the oppositions barbs focused around joblessness, land rights and anger amongst the state’s sizable tribal population, the BJP has also been plagued by a series of rebellions from its own party members. To counter this, the BJP has turned to the charisma of its Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Will it be enough or will the Mahagathbandhan end the saffron surge in Jharkhand and what impact will the 2019 Lok Sabha election results have on the Assembly elections in the state, likely to be held in the coming months?
Here are the top developments you need to know:
1. BJP is leading in 10 seats - Dhanbad, Ranchi, Palamau, Hazaribagh, Chatra, Kodarma, Jamshedpur, Khunti, Godda, Rajmahal and Dumka - out of 14 constituencies. Congress takes a lead in Khunti, Lohardaga and Singhbhum. AJSU (All Jharkhand Students Union) is leading in Giridih and JMM in Rajmahal.
2. Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha is leading in Hazaribagh. Before, Sinha his father Yashwant Sinha has represented this seat thrice as a member of the BJP. Against him is the Congress’s Gopal Sahu, the younger brother of former Ranchi MP Shiv Prasad Sahu. In the last election, the junior Sinha defeated the Congress’s Saurabh Narayan Singh by a margin of 1.5 lakh votes. The Communist Party of India (CPI) veteran leader and former Hazaribagh MP Bhuneshwar Prasad Mehta is also contesting from the seat.
3. Congress's Geeta Kora takes a lead in Singhbhum against the BJP candidate Laxman Giluwa, who in 2014 Lok Sabha elections won in this seat by defeating the JBSP candidate by a margin of 87,524 votes which was 11.01% of the total votes polled in the constituency. And, Congress’s Sukhdeo Bhagat takes lead in Lohardaga constituency. The seat has a significant Christian population. Chamra Linda, who secured third position in 2014 owing to his large following among Christian community by securing more than 80,000 votes, has extended support to the Congress candidate. In 2014, the BJP candidate, Sudarshan Bhagat, won by just 6,000 votes margin.
4. Congress’s candidate Kali Charan Munda takes a lead in Khunti against the BJP candidate and former chief minister Arjuna Munda.
5. The BJP candidate Pashupati Nath Singh is leading in Dhanbad parliamentary constituency. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Pashupati Nath Singh of BJP won in this seat by defeating the INC candidate by a margin of 2,92,954 votes which was 25.61% of the total votes polled in the constituency. BJP had a vote share of 47.51% in 2014 in the seat. There were a total of 31 contestants in 2014.
6. In Dhanbad, though 20 candidates are in the fray, the principal contest is between BJP candidate Pashupati Nath Singh and Congress nominee Kirti Azad. Both the BJP and Congress have entered into political alliances in the state and are banking on support of their partners to sail over troubled waters.
7. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Ram Tahal Choudhary of BJP won in this seat by defeating the Congress candidate by a margin of 1,99,303 votes which was 18.99% of the total votes polled in the constituency. BJP had a vote share of 42.74% in 2014 in the seat. There were a total of 28 contestants in 2014.
8. The grand alliance saw the Congress contest in seven seats, the JMM in four, the JVM(P) in two and RJD in one. The BJP meanwhile has attacked the alliance as one of convenience and has been relying heavily on PM Narendra Modi in its campaign. CM Raghubar Das said during a campaign speech, “People have realised that the country needs a Prime Minister like Narendra Modi for safeguarding religion, the nation’s security and overall development.”
9. In 2014, the BJP received 40.7 percent of the seats, while the four opposition parties cumulatively polled a total of 36.8% votes. The BJP won 12 seats of the total 14.
10. Of the six chief minister that Jharkhand has seen since its creation in 2000, the first-three tribal CMs Babulal Marandi, Arjun Munda and Shibu Soren are contesting the Lok Sabha elections. Marandi, the state’s first CM, is contesting from JVM(P), Munda is the BJP candidate from Khunti, Soren is fighting from Dumka. Das was the first non-tribal CM of the state.
11. To add to this, Madhu Koda — an independent MLA, who was the CM for nearly two years from 2006 to 2008 — is not contesting due to his conviction in the coal scam, but is spearheading the campaign for his wife Geeta, who is contesting from Singhbum on a Congress ticket
12. The BJP didn’t give tickets to four sitting MPs. However this led to feuds within the party. For instance, in Ranchi, the BJP dropped its sitting MP Ramtahal Chaudhary in favour of Sanjay Seth. Chaudhary, meanwhile refused to step out of the race and is contesting as an independent - something the Congress candidate, Former Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay is keen to exploit.