The Mahagatbandhan in Jharkhand, which has JMM (Jharkhand Mukti Morcha), Congress and RJD as alliance partners, got a landslide in the Assembly polls after it won 47 seats out of 81 constituencies in the State here on Monday.
This was the second occasion in the history of Jharkhand where an alliance has got a clear mandate to rule the State. The JMM won 30 seats while the Congress and RJD romped home on 16 and one seat respectively. JMM working president Hemant Soren, who led the alliance, will be the next Jharkhand CM.
The ruling BJP, which, in 2019, contested the Assembly polls on its own after severing ties with its erstwhile ally AJSU (All Jharkhand Students Union), conceded its defeat as it could win only 25 seats, 12 less than what it won in 2014. The AJSU won two seats, while Babulal Marandi’s Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) could scrape through in three constituencies.
“I accept the electorate mandate. More than the BJP, it’s my defeat,” said the outgoing Chief Minister Raghubar Das, who himself lost the election from Jamshedpur (East).
Das, who had been winning from this constituency since 1995 and has emerged triumphant for five consecutive times, however, lost to his former colleague Saryu Rai, who turned rebel after being denied BJP ticket from Jamshedpur (West).
Rai, an upright BJP man and whose credibility is impeccable, raised a bogey of revolt against Das on poll-eve and contested against the Chief Minister as an Independent. Rai, who was a BJP MLA from Jamshedpur (West) but made corruption a major plank while serving as a Cabinet Minister in Das Government, was denied ticket by the BJP.
The rebel, who has friends across political spectrum, turned the tables and blocked Das’ road to success.
Another notable victory was that of Hemant Soren, who won from both Dumka and Barheit. Earlier, during 2014 Assembly polls, Soren had lost from Dumka, although he was then the Chief Minister of Jharkhand. He, however, had won from Barheit, thereby becoming the Leader of the Opposition.
The decisive mandate today saw Das and his five other ministerial colleagues bite the dust.
However, other notables who could romp home were Babulal Marandi, former Chief Minister and president of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM), who emerged as winner from Dhanwar in Giridih.
Notorious for handing out a split mandate, Jharkhand first gave a decisive mandate in 2014 when the BJP-led alliance won 42 seats (BJP: 37, AJSU: 5). The trend reversed this year after the BJP and AJSU contested separately.
On the other hand, the JMM and the Congress, which contested 2014 polls separately, joined hands in 2019 and got a clear majority in the 81-member Assembly this election.
“We will sit and decide what went wrong,” said Das, the outgoing CM.
Hemant Soren, meanwhile, thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi and RJD chief Lalu Prasad for the poll victory. He is likely to stake claim for formation of Government soon.