Next up, Jharkhand state assembly elections: Key constituencies, winning odds, Chief Minister candidates and other top questions

  • After the dramatic Maharashtra election, focus will shift towards Jharkhand.
  • The eastern state famous for its mines, huge tribal population rich in culture but mired in poverty will go to polls starting November 30.
  • The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party will face a tough challenge as early opinion poll suggests that the tally of opposition parties may beat the incumbent.
After the dramatic Maharashtra election — where it took over a month for the anti-BJP coalition led by Uddhav Thackeray to form the government — the focus will shift towards Jharkhand.

The eastern state famous for its mines and a huge tribal population, which is rich in culture but mired in poverty, will go to polls soon. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party will face a tough challenge as early opinion poll suggests that the tally of opposition parties may beat the incumbent.

Here's a list a basic questions on the Jharkhand assembly polls to know answers to, before you can make sense of the upcoming news cycle.

1. What are the dates for Jharkhand assembly election.?

Jharkhand assembly election dates
PhasePolling dateConstituencies
OneNov 30, SaturdayChatra, Gumla, Bishunpur, Lohardaga, Manika, Latehar, Panki, Daltonganj, Bishrampur, Chhatarpur, Hussainabad, Garhwal, Bhawanathpur
TwoDec 7, SaturdayBaharagora, Ghatsila, Potka, Jugsalai, Jamshedpur East, Jamshedpur West, Seraikella, Kharsawan, Chaibasa, Majhgaon, Jaganathpur, Manoharpur, Chakradharpur, Tamar, Mandar, Torpa, Khunti, Sisai, Simdega, Kolebira
ThreeDec 12, ThursdayKodarma, Barkatha, Barhi, Mandu, Hazaribagh, Simaria, Barkagaon, Ramgarh, Dhanwar, Gomia, Bermo, Ichagarh, Silli, Khijri, Ranchi, Hatia, Kanke
FourDec 16, MondaySindri, Nirsa, Dhanbad, Jharia, Tundi, Baghmara, Bokaro, Chandankiyari, Madhupur, Deoghar, Bagodar, Jamua, Gandey, Giridih, Dumri
FiveDec 20, FridayRajmahal, Boiro, Barhait, Litipara, Pakur, Maheshpur, Sikaripara, Dumka, Jama, Jarmundi, Nala, Jamtara, Sarath, Poreyahat, Godda, Mahagama

2. Who is likely to win the election?

The total number of seats in Jharkhand assembly is 81 and therefore the winning coalition needs at least 41 seats to be undisputed in government formation.

As seen in the Maharashtra election, the BJP, which is in power in Jharkhand since 2014, is likely to be the single-largest party with maximum seats in the state assembly, according to a C-Voter survey put out by IANS. However, it may not have the majority and so, it will need allies.

BJP and its declared allies are likely to bag 33 seats (taking the midpoint of the projection), and its rivals including the Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) may bag around thirty seats. It'll be another neck-and-neck fight!

It seems like a neck-and-neck fight in the Jharkhand assembly election. BJP and its declared allies may get about 33 seats while the rival Congress-JMM-RJD alliance may get about 30 seats, according to a C-Voter survey ahead of the first phase of polling on November 30.

3. What are the key issues for the voters in the Jharkhand state election?

Jharkhand has what is called the 'resource curse' globally. Across the world from Africa to Pakistan to Papua New Guinea, places that are rich in minerals and other natural resources have most of its people suffering from back-breaking poverty. Jharkhand has been no different for many decades until recently.

Between 2005-06 and 2015-16, the state lifted millions of people from poverty — the multidimensional poverty reduced to 46.5% from 74.9%, according to a United Nations Report this year — but it still remains one of India's poorest states on many counts. Therefore, "Around 25% eligible voters said employment and matters related to doing business were the most important for them in this election," the C-Voter survey that spoke to nearly 9,000 voters said.

The slow implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), which promised to recognise the land rights of forest dwellers, has reportedly led to dissatisfaction in 62 of the 81 assembly constituencies. That's 77% of the constituencies where voters are angry with the current government, an analysis by an independent research group has concluded.

4. Are people happy with the current government in Jharkhand?

A broad answer will be 'No', if the C-Voter survey is to be believed. As many as 60% of the 9,000 respondents said they wanted a new Chief Minister immediately. Just as many people were unhappy with their local legislator too.

However, most people still believe BJP is the best equipped to solve their problems. The number of people who believe in BJP can solve their 'issue' is as high as 45%, and that is miles ahead of any other party who have scored in single digits.


So, while the Chief Minister (CM), Raghubar Das, is losing ground, his party, the BJP, is not. But the BJP has continued to back him as the CM for this election.

5. Who are the Chief Minister candidates in Jharkhand?

Though the BJP seems to fall short of bagging a majority in the Jharkhand assembly, the sitting Chief Minister Raghubar Das is still the most popular among all Chief Minister candidates, closely followed by rival Hemant Soren from the JMM.

Surprisingly for the BJP, one of its other key legislators, Arjun Munda, is gaining popularity as a possible Chief Minister though the party has not portrayed him as a candidate for the top job in the state. Munda


51-year old Munda lost his last state election in Jharkhand in 2014 but he has the trust of the central leadership. He is currently the Minister for Tribal Affairs in the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has been a popular mass leader in Jharkhand for a long time especially among the tribal people of the region.

SEE ALSO:
The Main Parties In The Jharkhand Election Scene – 2019 Assembly Elections

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