The BJP Tuesday emerged victorious and prepared to form its government in Jharkhand, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the people have “voted for stability which is essential to realise the true potential of the state”.
The BJP won 30 seats and were leading in eight seats, while its pre-poll alliance partner the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) got four seats and was leading in a fifth — taking them comfortably past the magic halfway mark of 41 in the 81-member assembly.
“People of Jharkhand have voted for stability which is essential to realise the true potential of the state. I congratulate them,” said Modi who had campaigned vigorously in Jharkhand, a state that is home to 3.2 million.
The vote share of the BJP went up from last time’s 24 percent to 31 percent now.
The party also did remarkably well in the tribal Santhal Pargana region that has 18 assembly segments. The BJP won seven seats in the tribal belt, a marked improvement from just two seats it held earlier.
The ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) failed to improve its performance, winning 17 seats and leading in just one — a tally that was same as last time.
“We are disappointed with our performance. We were expecting 30 plus seats… We are hopeful of getting more than 20 seats two more than that in the previous polls,” Supriyo Bhattacharya, general secretary of the JMM, told IANS.
He added: “The alliance with Congress and RJD could have kept the BJP away from power. The Congress stand to part ways helped the BJP win in Jharkhand.”
The Congress-RJD combine bagged a miserable three seats and a lead in four constituencies.
Congress spokesperson Kishore Shadeo said the results show that their organisation has improved and they have managed to snatch seats from the JMM.
BJP cadres were ecstatic in Jharkhand as well as in Delhi. The celebrations began soon after the trends indicated that the party was coasting home to victory.
A beaming BJP chief Amit Shah said in Delhi: “It is for the first time that people of Jharkhand have given a clear mandate in an assembly election to the BJP. We will form a majority government.”
Shah credited the victory in Jharkhand to the achievements of Modi’s six-month-old central government.
“People’s love and respect for Modi has translated into this victory (in Jharkhand),” Shah said, referring to a state that has seen a as many as nine chief ministers in the past 14 years.
Jharkhand, which became a state in November 2000, has rich mineral resources including uranium. The state has a third of India’s coal reserves and a quarter of India’s copper reserves.
BJP national vice president Raghbubar Das, who is a contender for the chief minister’s post and has won from East Jamshedpur constituency, told IANS that they will form the government in the state.
He said that the BJP parliamentary board will take a call on who will be the chief minister.
Arjun Munda, considered a strong contender for chief ministership, was defeated in Kharsawa constituency.
The other former chief ministers who were electorally stung include Babulal Marandi and Madhu Koda.
Marandi, the first chief minister of Jharkhand and president of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, lost the election from both the Dhanwar and Giridih constituencies.
Jai Bharat Samanta Party candidate Koda lost the election from the Majhgao constituency.
Chief Minister Hemant Soren won from the Barhait assembly constituency but lost from Dumka.
State BJP president Ravindra Kumar Rai told IANS: “We were hoping to get a two-third majority but have fallen short of the 50 seats we were hoping to win.”
The BJP, which contested the polls in alliance with the AJSU and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), fielded candidates in 72 seats. The AJSU had put up candidates in eight places. The LJP had one candidate.
The Congress contested 60 seats while its ally RJD fielded 19 candidates. The CPI and CPI-M fielded candidates respectively in 24 and 13 constituencies.