JMM's victory worrisome for the BJP

JMM's victory worrisome for the BJP

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha candidate Seema Mahato with her supporters flashes a victory sign during the victory procession after winning the Silli constituency seat, in Ranchi, on Thursday. PTI

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's (JMM) victory from two Assembly seats in Jharkhand is worrisome for the BJP, which rode to power in the state with a brute majority in 2014 Assembly polls.

The united Opposition's support to the JMM helped the regional party retain its Gomia and Silli Assembly seats in the by-polls held on May 28.

The two seats were vacant since the JMM MLAs Yogendra Yadav (Gomia) and Amit Mahto (Silli) lost their Assembly membership following their conviction in separate criminal cases earlier this year.

The JMM fielded Yadav's wife Babita and Mahto's wife Seema to contest the by-polls from their husbands' seats.

The by-poll results come in the backdrop of plans for an Opposition grand alliance between the Congress, JMM, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) in the state for the 2019 General Elections.

Out of a total of 14 Lok Sabha seats from Jharkhand, 12 are currently with the BJP, while two is with the JMM.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won eight seats out of the 12 that it contested while the Congress won one seat and its ally JMM two. The JVM (Prajatantrik) won one seat while the remaining two seats were won by the independent candidates.

Political analysts say that the results of the by-polls for the Gomia and Silli constituencies is an indication that the BJP could find it difficult to repeat its 2014 performance.

The ruling BJP alone has 43 seats out of a total of 81 in the state Assembly, while its allies have four seats.

Out of 43 seats, six are those that switched over to the saffron party from the Babulal Marandi's JVM.

Assembly polls in Jharkhand are due a few months after the General Elections in 2019, and the Opposition parties, led by Congress, are already in talks to finalise contours of a grand alliance to take on the BJP.