Jharkhand polls over, now all eyes on result on Dec 23

Jharkhand polls over, now all eyes on result on Dec 23

The five-phase Assembly elections in Jharkhand eventually came to an end on Friday evening after polling in the remaining 16 constituencies was over.

The fate of former Chief Minister Hemant Soren was sealed after today’s polling. The State has already witnessed voting in 65 constituencies between November 30 and December 16. The results for all the 81 seats will be announced on December 23.

Friday’s poll assumes significance in the sense that it could make or mar the prospects of BJP returning to power in the tribal-dominated State. All the 16 Assembly constituencies, which went to polls on Friday, come under Santhal Pargana region, a fiefdom of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), where its party chief Shibu Soren’s writ still runs despite some electoral setback.

According to an estimate, there are around 32 per cent Scheduled Tribes and 16 per cent Minorities in Santhal Pargana region, which has Dumka as the ‘up-rajdhani’ (second capital) of Jharkhand. It also has 17 per cent non-tribals in this region who would play a crucial role in deciding on December 23 whether it will be a JMM-led Government in the State or BJP’s Raghubar Das would come back to power.

The JMM-Congress-RJD chief ministerial candidate Hemant Soren is again pitted against BJP minister Louis Marandi from Dumka. Soren is contesting from Barheit too. During 2014 Assembly elections, Soren was defeated by the debutant Marandi in Dumka, although he was then Chief Minister of Jharkhand. He, however, won from Barheit and became Leader of the Opposition.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah campaigned for the BJP aggressively, while Rahul, Priyanka Gandhi and Shatrughan Sinha canvassed for Congress and JMM nominees during the six-week-long poll.