Ranchi: With the announcement of Assembly elections in the state, all political parties have begun analysis of their past performances in the previous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections to assess their chances of success in the ensuing elections.
Jharkhand will cast vote for its 81 Assembly seats in five phases on 2nd, 9th, 14th and 20th December. The counting of votes will take place on 23rd December. Election Commission issued the election schedule yesterday, leading the political stakeholders to scurry and huddle to chalk out winning strategy.
Bharatiya Janata Party, one of the major stakeholders, too, is busy preparing a foolproof plan to ensure a landslide victory in the polls in expectation of a re-do of the Lok Sabha performance. In the year 2000, BJP was the largest party with 32 seats in its favour while JMM and Congress could get only 12 and 11 seats respectively. Rashtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal (U) got nine and eight seats respectively while other parties got nine seats.
Later, in 2005, BJP suffered a loss of two seats in the first Assembly polls of Jharkhand, but emerged as the largest party. JMM’s tally too, improved to reach 17, but Congress could get only nine seats. RJD, JD (U) and other parties got seven, six and 12 seats.
In 2009, BJP was reduced to 18. JMM also got 18 seats. Congress won 14 seats. One of the seats was later clinched by AJSU. Jharkhand Vikas Morcha got 11 seats while AJSU, RJD and other parties got six, five and 10 seats. Thus regional parties had good impact in the elections of 2000, 2005 and 2009. Independents and other parties remained at a strength of nine to 12.
In the Lok Sabha elections held this year, BJP registered a sweeping victory and improved its performance in 56 Assembly segments. JMM could improve itself only in 10 constituencies. Congress, JVM, CPI (ML), Jai Bharat Samanata Party defeated their closest rivals in three Assembly seats each while Jharkhand Party and AJSU did the same in two and one seats respectively.
Buoyed over their past performance in the LS polls, state BJP leaders are enthused with the announcement of election schedule. The party is all set to contest the polls with a target of achieving total majority while the Opposition parties are being led by JMM which leads the current ruling alliance in the state under the leadership of Chief Minister Hemant Soren. JMM leaders believe that the fast paced development work carried out in the last 14 months will give its benefits to the JMM. Congress party meanwhile is still recovering from the shock of the defeat it tasted in the LS polls this year.
Among other parties, JVM is ridden with internal rifts as many of its MLAs and other members have quit the party in the last several months. AJSU is suffering from low morale of the party workers following the poor performance of its president Sudesh Mahato in the Ranchi LS polls.
Other parties like Jai Bharat Samanata Party of former CM Madhu Koda, Trinamool Congress (led by Bandhu Tirkey) and Jharkhand Party led by Enos Ekka are organizing campaign to improve vote-bank statistics. In such a situation, it is difficult to guess whether Jharkhand is heading towards the formation of a majority government or a government pulled by the strings of alliance. The scene is likely to become clear on 23rd December.