Congress gains as Jharkhand heads towards hung assembly

Congress gains as Jharkhand heads towards hung assembly

In trends available for the 81 seats, for which counting was on, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was ahead in 18 seats while the Congress and its partner, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik, were leading in 24 constituencies.

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), which was ahead in 18 seats, is likely to hold the key to government formation in the state, which has been under the president's rule for almost a year now.

The JMM has already put a rider for supporting any political alliance.

"We will support only those who will favour Shibu Soren (the JMM chief) as the new chief minister," JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya told IANS.
Others, including Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), were leading in 21 seats. The RJD alone was leading in seven seats.

Counting of votes polled in the five-phased Jharkhand assembly elections began Wednesday morning amid heavy security.

Jailed ex-minister Enos Ekka was trailing in the assembly seats of Kolibera and Simdega he contested from. Two other jailed former ministers, Kamlesh Singh and Harinarayan Rai, were, however, leading from Hussainabad and Jarmundi constituencies respectively.
There are about 30,000 security forces and 5,200 officials at the 31 counting centres in the state.
The staggered polls to the 81-member Jharkhand assembly were held between Nov 25 and Dec 18. A total of 1,511 candidates were in the fray and a 58 percent voter turnout was recorded.
The vote count is finally expected to end president's rule in the state. President's rule was imposed Jan 19 after then chief minister Soren lost the Tamar assembly by-election.

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