Saffron shrinking: Jharkhand maybe 5th state BJP to lose

Tuesday, 24 Dec, 2019

Das has been winning this seat since 1995. "There is going to be a clean sweep for Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in this election". After some bargaining, Congress also agreed on projecting Hemant Soren as the alliance's CM face. The man who would be very happy with this result is RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, now languishing in a Ranchi jail as a convict in the fodder scam. The BJP is leading in another 12, according to the Election Commission. Trends are good but I won't make comment until final result. The separation happened after the parties could not decide on the division of seats between the two. Coming on the back of below-par performances in Haryana and the failure to stay in government in Maharashtra, the results of the Jharkhand Assembly elections will be crucial for the ruling BJP. Not because Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity has taken a dip in Jharkhand, or its people developed a dislike for the party, which swept parliamentary elections only six months ago.

In the last state election, the BJP contested on 72 seats, AJSU eight seats and LJP one seat. Woman and Child Welfare Minister Lois Marandi and Simon Malto - both from BJP - are giving tough competition to Soren in Dumka and Barhait respectively. On the other side, it won 16 seats (up from 14) in assemblies where the ST population was below 20%. It increased its vote share by just above 2% based on data as of 4pm, indicating that the JMM-led alliance was successful in consolidating the opposition votes. The BJP was leading on 25 seats while JMM led alliance was ahead on 45 seats in the 81-member Assembly.

Meanwhile, Jharkhand BJP leader and incumbent Chief Minister Raghubar Das conceded defeat, Hindustan Times reported, taking personal responsibility for it.

If exit polls hold true, the BJP will lose control over another state after losing Maharashtra in this year's assembly polls.

Labour Minister and BJP candidate Raj Paliwar is also leading over his nearest JMM rival Haji Hussain Ansari in Madhupur seat.

The BJP contested 79 seats, supported an Independent candidate in one place and did not put up nominee against AJSU Party president Sudesh Mahto.