New Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS) The 2019 Jharkhand assembly election results on Friday indicate an overwhelming rejection of the BJP by the state’s tribal voters. Of the 28 seats reserved for scheduled tribe (ST) candidates, the BJP managed to win only 2 seats in these elections.
In contrast, the JMM and allies won the remaining 26 seats or a little more than half the 47 seats they ultimately won and are set to form the next government government in the state.
Predictably, the BJP is putting up a brave face. “The party will evaluate the result as BJP always does. All I can say, we may have lost seats but we have got an impressive vote share in Jharkhand which most seem to ignore.” said Amit Malviya, social media head of the BJP.
Chief minister designate Hemant Soren and his ally, the Congress, thanked the voters in Jharkhand’s tribal belt for the emphatic victory they registered in the assembly elections, results for which were announced on Monday. It was largely due to the stress on local issues such as land, forest rights, employment among others that propelled the alliance through.
In the three elections that Jharkhand has seen after its formation, the BJP and the JMM would usually end up with almost equal number of seats, with other parties mopping up the remainder.
Both parties won 9 seats each in 2005 while others won the remaining 10 seats. In 2009, the JMM, with its tribal moorings, managed to take a slight edge with 10 seats to the BJP’s 9. In 2014, the JMM again led with 13 seats to the BJP’s tally of 11 seats.
According to poll analysts, opting for a non-tribal chief minister, in the form of Raghubar Das, also affected the BJP’s chances in the crucial area. Speaking to IANS after the fifth and final phase of the Jharkhand assembly polls, Yashwant Deshmukh of C-Voter said that Hemant Soren played a major role in rallying the JMM-led alliance’s campaign, especially in the tribal-dominated areas of the state.
The BJP has traditionally never been strong in the tribal belts, 20 of which went to polls in the first two phases of the five-phase assembly polls. But when the results came out on Monday, the impact was most pronounced in the 2019 assembly elections.
After Chattisgarh, Jharkhand is yet another mineral rich state in the Chhota Nagpur plateau to slip away from the BJP fold.