The opposition alliance of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)—is on course to dislodge the ruling the BJP in the Jharkhand Assembly 2019 elections, official Election Commission trends show.
At present, the BJP is leading in 28 constituencies while the JMM-Congress-RJD combine is ahead in 42 seats. Counting of votes for 81 Assembly constituencies in the tribal-dominated state is currently underway. The majority mark is 41, reports The Indian Express.
The election was held in five phases between November 30 and December 20.
Here are the top 10 updates on Jharkhand Assembly elections results:
1. Among other prominent parties, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) is leading in 5 seats while the AJSU Party is leading in three constituencies.
2. Among the prominent candidates are Chief Minister Raghubar Das from Jamshedpur East, JMM chief and opposition CM candidate Hemant Soren from Dumka and Barhait and former chief minister Babulal Marandi, who is also the president of JVM (P) from Dhanwar. While AJSU Party chief Sudesh Mahto is contesting from Silli, state Congress president Rameshwar Oraon is contesting from Lohardoga seat.
3. Exit polls for the Assembly elections in Jharkhand have predicted a lead for the JMM-Congress-RJD alliance in the 81-member House. While the India Today-Axis survey has predicted that the Opposition alliance is likely to form the next government, the IANS-C Voter-ABP poll has predicted a hung Assembly.
4. Postal ballots were taken up first before polling in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) began at 8.30 am, officials told news agency PTI.
5. The BJP won 43 seats in the Assembly election of 2014, and with 5 MLAs from Opposition parties joining the party recently, it has 48 seats in outgoing Assembly. On the other hand, the JMM won 19 seats, while the Congress could only secure six seats.
6. Nineteen of Jharkhand's 24 districts are affected by Left Wing Extremism — one reason why the election process has been staggered across five phases. In their election speeches, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have highlighted the need to stamp out Naxalism in the state. The BJP has claimed that it will win 65 plus seats in the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly.
7. As per insiders, the ruling party faces four major challenges — "anti-BJP sentiment" among tribals, the image of Chief Minister Raghubar Das, induction of leaders with criminal cases and issues arising out of ticket distribution.
8. The BJP had intially campaigned on the issues such as Article 370, Ram Temple and Triple Talaq and the focus shifted to the Citizenship Amendment Act in the later phases. The Opposition raised local issues such as lack of employment, water scarcity and the protection of "jal, jungle, zameen".
9. Ahead of the polls. the BJP and AJSU had severed ties after the former refused to accede to the erstwhile ally's demand for 17 of 81 seats. The AJSU had been hoping to extract concessions from the BJP, which it believes has taken a blow in Haryana and Maharashtra. The AJSU Party has significant support in the Tamar, Tundi, Ramgarh, and Lohardaga seats, which it won in the last election. The party also has a strong base in Silli, from where its chief Mahto contested, albeit unsuccessfully, in 2014.
10. The JVM(P) is contesting all 81 seats alone. It was part of the Opposition alliance in the Lok Sabha elections and contested two seats but lost both. In the 2014 Assembly election, JVM(P) contested 73 seats alone and won eight, with vote share of around 10 per cent. According to EC data, JVM(P) secured votes ranging from 8,700 to 26,000 in eight ST constituencies where they did not win — much more than the margin of votes of the winning candidates. In 2015, six of the eight JVM(P) MLAs joined the BJP, stating that the legislative party had merged. The Assembly tribunal upheld the merger, and the matter is in the High Court.