JMM workers celebrate the party's performance in the state assembly elections as counting was underway, in Ranchi on December 23, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
New Delhi, December 23, 2019
The Congress-Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) alliance is all set to form the next government in Jharkhand with the counting trends indicating that the tie-up stitched ahead of the Assembly elections had gained 15 seats between them.
While the incumbent BJP is leading on 31 seats, the Congress (13), JMM (24) and RJD (3) can easily cross the majority mark of 41.
Chief Minister Raghubar Das is trailing from Jamshedpur East.
The JMM led by Hemant Soren is leading in 24 seats, Congress in 13 and RJD in 3 seats. Soren is tipped to be the Chief Minister if the alliance wins the polls. There were celebrations at Congress headquarters here as functionaries distributed sweets.
Soren is trailing from Dumka by less than 500 votes, and is leading Berhait by 9,948 votes. AJSU president Sudesh Mahto is leading with over 15,000 votes from Silli assembly seat.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, earlier on Monday, asserted that the BJP will come back to power in the state and said that it was too early to react on the early trends.
Speaking to reporters here, Das said, "I'm sure that we are winning and the government will be formed under the leadership of BJP."
With the BJP on the back foot, the Congress is asserting that the win in Jharkhand is a rejection of BJP's national narrative of CAA, Article 370.
Congress Secretary Pranav Jha said, "The people have rejected the national narrative built by the BJP in the state over the issues of Article 370, Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and voted for the local issues."
He said, the people of the state voted on local issues -- inflation and employment for youth.
Not wishing to take any chances and aiming to further consolidate their position, to unseat the BJP, the Congress has spoken to former ally Babulal Marandi of the JVM, which is leading on 3 seats. Marandi is leading by 18,645 votes from Dhanwar.
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) chief and former chief minister Marandi is leading over Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) candidate Raj Kumar Yadav.
Sources told IANS that JVM has not given any assurance to the Congress leaders so far, but have said that the party will hold talks only after the final results are out.
In the battle for the key seats in Jharkhand, Das is facing a tough fight from his former colleague and Independent candidate, Saryu Roy from Jamshedpur East. Das is trailing by over a thousand votes to Saryu Roy.
Former deputy chief minister and All Jharkhand Students Union Party (AJSU) president Sudesh Kumar Mahto is leading by 17,125 votes over Seema Devi of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha from Silli.
There are some seats where the margin is very small. Six constituencies have emerged where the margin is below 500 and it can swing either way, by the time the final vote is counted.
Marandi, who fancies his chances as kingmaker has said, "no one is untouchable in politics" and the BJP and the Congress were both in touch with him.
Speaking to the media here, Marandi said, "In politics no one is untouchable. We are in touch with the BJP and the Congress."
(Our News Desk can be contacted at email@example.com)