The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-led three-party alliance stormed to power in Jharkhand, ousting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in yet another state in the Hindi heartland after the saffron party's stupendous performance in the Lok Sabha elections. The JMM-led alliance, which also has the Congress and the RJD allies, secured 47 seats, comfortably above the majority mark of 41. Of the 47 Assembly seats won by the alliance, the JMM bagged 30 seats, the Congress 16 and the RJD 1. On the other hand ruling BJP managed to win only 25 seats, the AJSU Party two, the JVM (P) three and others four.
Here are some key trends from the Jharkhand Assembly election results: BJP’s vote share slumps
Only six months after BJP had swept the Lok Sabha polls in the state, cornering 11 of the state’s 14 seats at stake with a 51 percent vote share, its vote share in Monday’s Jharkhand assembly polls dwindled by 17 percentage points to 33 percent. However compared to 2014 assembly polls, the party has increased its vote share by 2.1 percentage points.
At 32 percent, BJP’s strike rate was also the lowest among three major parties, while the JMM had the highest strike rate of 70 percent. The Congress’ strike rate was 52 percent.
Among reserved constituencies, BJP could win only two out of 28 seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribes. JMM and Congress bagged 19 and 6, respectively, while JVM-P’s Babulal Marandi bagged one seat.
But, the party can take solace from the fact that it won 6 out of 9 Scheduled Caste seats at stake, while RJD won one and JMM picked two.
Regional gainers and losers
Until Monday’s results, Jharkhand’s electoral history was replete with examples of fragmented mandate and smaller parties playing a crucial role in government formation. While with the latest mandate, JMM has emerged as the single largest party with 30 seats, Babulal Marandi’s JVP-P and Sudeh Mahto’s All Jharkhand Students Union failed to lift their performances. The JVM-P was able to win just three seats, down from eight in 2014. AJSU tally also dropped to two from the five seats it had won in 2014.
Rajya Sabha dynamics
A bigger fallout of the Jharkhand election results could be that the BJP may not have a Rajya Sabha seat from the state, thereby reducing its numbers in the Congress-led upper house. Jharkhand has six Rajya Sabha seats with BJP having three and the Congress and the RJD have one each. The sixth seat is held by an independent MP, industrialist Parimal Nathwani. The state will face biennial elections on two seats each in 2020, 2022 and 2024. Any Rajya Sabha contestant will require at least or 28 MLAs to win a seat. BJP’s tally of 25 wouldn’t be enough without support from JVM-P, which so far has maintained distance from the saffron outfit.
No CM for consecutive terms
No chief minister in Jharkhand has managed to get a second consecutive term. However, Das earned the distinction of becoming the first Chief Minister of the tribal state, carved out of Bihar in 2000, to complete a full term in power.
Since its inception, Jharkhand has seen 10 chief ministers and three terms of President's rule. So far, BJP’s Babulal Marandi (now chief of JVM-P); Arun Munda and Raghubar Das have served as CMs. JMM’s Shibu Soren and Heman Soren have also served as CMs in the state as well as independent MLA Madhu Koda.
Raghubar Das loses bastion
Outgoing Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das was on Monday defeated in his bastion, Jamshedpur East, by his Independent rival and former cabinet colleague Saryu Roy by a margin of 15,833 votes. Das, who had held the seat since 1995 when it was in undivided Bihar, secured 58,112 votes while Roy got 73,945 of the total 173,618 votes.
Ten out of 81 seats in the Jharkhand Assembly elections were won by women candidates, improving by a seat from the 2014 Assembly elections when Nine women MLAs were elected.
-with inputs from agencies