Just six months after winning 12 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand, the BJP is set to be voted out of power.
The grand alliance between the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Congress Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has secured a comfortable majority. Sitting Chief Minister Raghubar Das has lost to his former cabinet colleague Sarayu Rai who fought as an independent against him.
Hemant Soren is all set for a second term as the state's chief minister. The 44-year-old contested from 2 constituencies and is leading in both places.
With Jharkhand, the BJP has lost power in 5 states in the last 12 months. It all started with Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in December last year, and then came Maharashtra where it failed to form the government despite emerging as the single-largest party, and now Jharkhand. The BJP-led NDA controlled 75 percent of the national landscape just 2 years ago. It now controls about 35 percent.
Speaking about why has the BJP failed to hold on to power, Gopal Krishna Agarwal, spokesperson of BJP said, “The state and regional politics is based on caste or small influence groups. We wanted to take the narration from there to national issues. We wanted the state politics to rise above the petty politics of caste, religion, or minority regional parties. We have to rethink some of the strategies that we have been adopting."
Rasheed Kidwai, a senior journalist said, “Raghubar Das government was extremely unpopular at every level, just not among tribals. The second thing is the state of the economy. Jharkhand is an economically prosperous state or at least it has the potential, but the slowdown has affected it badly. The kind of things that the prime minister talked about, from Ram Mandir to NRC and the Citizens Amendment Act, that is political rhetoric, but the fact of the matter is people are not buying that and it is something which is extremely serious.”
Rajeev Gowda, spokesperson of Congress said, “Jharkhand has witnessed terrible economic performance under Raghubar Das government for the last 5 years. One-fifth of the Jharkhand youth are jobless. You have malnutrition, deaths, you have stories that will make your heart bleed. That is the kind of economic scenario you have in Jharkhand.”