Pakur constituency changed Jharkhand's electoral dynamics

Pakur, the fiefdom of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) supremo Shibu Soren, has been one seat which has proved to be the bone of contention between the JMM and Congress and because of which alliance talks between the two ruling parties in the state failed.

The failure to seal a deal has, therefore, given the rival BJP virtually a walkover.
At least this is what appears while traversing through this Maoist-infested zone, where the ultras killed Pakur SP last year in an ambush.

The Assembly seat near Rajmahal hills comprises 2.4 lakh voters, out of which 15 per cent are tribals. But more than the tribals, it’s the 54 per cent Muslim electorate, which eventually decides who is going to represent them in the Assembly.

The JMM has a sitting MLA Aquil Akhtar, who has been re-nominated by the party. The Congress, an ally in the Hemant Soren government, wanted former Speaker Alamgir Alam to be fielded as a joint candidate. But the JMM rejected the idea saying it was “an unreasonable demand”. The JMM rebuff eventually led to the split of the two ruling partners.

Akhtar is a popular leader and his road to success would have been smooth this time had the Congress not fielded Alam. Compounding Akhtar’s woes is Babulal Marandi’s Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM), which has fielded the third prominent Muslim face, Heena. With the three front-runners, the JMM, Congress and the JVM, eyeing the 54 per cent Muslim votes, it’s the BJP candidate Ranju Tiwary, who is thanking his stars on the JMM-Congress split.

“The election these days is more of arithmetic than the electoral chemistry. The failure of alliance talks between the JMM and Congress, besides division of Muslim votes among the three parties, will easily help the BJP nominee to romp home when polling takes place on December 20,” averred a local journalist, Mrityunjay Pandey.

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