The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost another state. The party lost to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance in the Jharkhand assembly elections. The biggest upset was Chief Minister Raghubar Das who could not save his own seat and lost to his former colleague and independent candidate Saryu Roy by a margin of over 15,000 votes.
A number of factors seems to have worked against him, chief among them being his style of functioning.
Jaiprakash Khare, Associate Professor in Ranchi University, told IANS, "Dumping its long term ally All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) was his biggest folly as the AJSU has pockets of influence. Ticket distribution was also a big reason for BJP's defeat."
The political analysts and social activists, while talking to IANS, gave five reasons for the BJP's defeat.
Anti incumbency and Das unpopularity:
Raghubar Das' image was a big reason behind the BJP's loss in Jharkhand. There was dissent against his leadership in spite of the fact that he was backed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah. Seasoned leader and minister in Cabinet Saryu Roy revolted but the party did not listen to him. Roy went on to defeat Das in his own bastion by a huge margin.
Ignoring people's basic needs — health, education and jobs proved to be too costly for him. Lathi-charge on more than 70,000 para teachers demanding regularisation of their service in 2018, on formation day of Jharkhand in November, and bad treatment meted out to more than 25,000 Aganwadi workers demanding a raise in their wages, did not go down well with the masses.
Bureaucracy not on board:
The dissatisfaction over the style of functioning of Das and his arrogance irked bureaucrats more than anything else, an official in the state government said on condition of anonymity.
Ignoring basic needs:
Das government did not pay adequate heed to health, education, jobs, the basic needs of the people, the political analysts say. The health infrastructure in the state has almost collapsed, leading to widespread resentment against the government.
A doctor working in Rajendra Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi, said, "No doctor was inducted in RIMS for a long time. The government only released advertisements, not funds for crucial health and education sectors."
The state was rocked by a series of mob lynching incidents, creating fear in the minds of people. "This also alienated the tribal votes which shifted to the other side. If the party had taken a bold decision to name a tribal chief minister such as Arjun Munda, the party may have fared better," a social activist said.
Dilution of tenancy and land acquisition laws did cause a lot of resentment among the tribal people, leading to fear that it would be easier to acquire tribal land in the state.
First Published: IST