Another fractured verdict in J'khand

Another fractured verdict in J'khand

JMM holds key to govt formation

Another fractured verdict in J'khand

While the Congress-Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) axis won 25 seats (Congress: 14 and JVM-P: 11), the challenge of the NDA, which was believed to be the favourite after it reclaimed eight seats from the UPA in the parliamentary elections early this year, petered out. It could manage wins in only 20 constituencies (BJP:18, JD-U: 2 ), 16 short of the 36 it won in the 2005 assembly polls.

Lalu Prasad’s RJD won five seats while the All Jharkhand Students Union, won five seats, the CPI-ML (Liberation) one and the Marxist Coordination Committee one. Others won six.

The highwater mark of this assembly election was the JMM’s amazing turnaround. A resurgent JMM secured victories in 18 constituencies, depriving both the UPA and the NDA from forming a government without its support. The party, led by Shibu Soren, has clearly emerged as the kingmaker. The Congress-JVM-P combine hopes to enter into a post-poll alliance with the JMM. On the other hand, the NDA has also made its intentions clear in keeping the Congress out of power by extending support to the JMM.

Aware of its role as a decisive variable in government formation, the JMM has made it clear that it would not contend with anything less than the chief minister’s post.

Pointing out that his party was not averse to joining hands with the BJP, Soren said: “The BJP is not an untouchable”, adding in the same vein that he was game if the Congress and the BJP made key concessions.

But JVM chief Babulal Marandi is dead against acceding to Soren’s demands. “This state has suffered a great deal due to the politics of opportunism,” Marandi said.
The BJP appeared disappointed with its performance, but was eager not to let go off the opportunity to lay claim to forming the government along with the JMM. “The results are not on expected lines, but we might consider lending support to the JMM to stall any Congress move to form government,” party leader Arjun Munda said.

Prominent losers

Several prominent leaders, including those who served as ministers in successive governments in the dissolved House and enjoyed political clout, were defeated. A few tainted leaders like Bandu Tirkey, Harinarayan Rai and Enos Ekka, who served as ministers, managed to retain their seats.

In fact, disgraced former chief minister Madhu Koda’s wife Gita won the Jagannathpur seat by a margin of over 25,000 votes. Koda had won the seat in 2000 and 2005.

Among the prominent losers included two former deputy chief ministers Stephan Marandi and Sudhir Mahto.