Outcome of Jharkhand Assembly Election
The result of the Jharkhand Assembly Election 2019 ended on a disappointing note for the ruling party. Besides, it also hurts the national party in a much bigger way than expected. The win will boost the confidence of the Congress, which is a part of the three party alliance led by Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Hemant Soren, who is currently the executive president of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (jMM) will back as the Chief Minister. The state which was carved out of Bihar in 2010, is witnessing important leaders like Babulal Maranda, Shibu Soren, Arjun Munda, is seeing new friendly face.
How it happened ?
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-led three-party alliance JMM-Congress-RJD captured a huge victory getting 47 seats in the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly. The BJP could manage 25 Assembly constituencies in the Jharkhand polls. While small parties like Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) won three constituencies. The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won one seat each. This is seen as a huge setback for BJP at the national level, since the party had lost in five states since last year.
Habit of Losing allies
One of the most important reasons for the BJP's failure is not aligning with good partners. It joined hands with the All Jhark-hand Students Union (AJSU) which didn't perform well. It cost the party in 10 seats. BJP Chief Minister Raghubar Das had his way with the candidate list, this resulted in the list were 13 of the 37 sit-MLAs were dropped, inducting many new comers and outsider sparkled fights within the party. This created a confrontation between the new and old associates. This also resulted in the Chief Minister's seat, where he lost his seat -Jamshedpur East - to Saryu Rai, his erstwhile Cabinet colleague.
The Jharkhand government ignored common man's basic needs - health, education and jobs. The dissatisfaction over the style of functioning of Chief Minister Raghubar Das and his way of governance clearly irked bureaucrats. Handling of the important issues was also poor. Lathi-charge action on 60,000 para teachers demanding regularisation of their service in 2018, which was also the formation day of Jharkhand in November had a deep impact on the public. Besides, bad treatment meted out to more than 25,000 Aganwadi workers who made a basic demand for a raise in their salary too hurt the image of government. Furthermore, the health infrastructure in the state had collapsed, leading to widespread backlash against the government. There were no crucial funds for health and education sectors.
Tribal law issue
The government made attempts to change the Santhal Pargana and Chotanagpur Tenancy Act, which created distrust among the tribal. The law which was used to protect the rights of tribal communities on their own land resources had several sentiments hurt them. Though the RSS tried hard to keep the tribal population cohesive towards the BJP-style of governance, a vacuum was formed among the tribals after the government’s failed to solve the problems like the protection of identities and indigenous community rights. This feeling was milked by the JMM led alliance, worked well in the favour of them.
Lack of popular local face
In parliamentary polls, the BJP's top leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was strong. It was always Modi versus the rest in the national polls. In the States, Opposition parties have realised that Narendra Modi cannot be made the face in the local elections. Immediately with BJP lacking such a face, they took down with strong alliances. With the help of common problems like unemployment, economic slowdown, they managed to defeat the ruling party and denying them the next mandate.
Friendly face of JMM
Hemant Soren, executive president of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (jMM) has shown a lot maturity in his approach. He started his political journey at a young age in the shadow of his father Shibu Soren elder brother Durga. Though he plunged into politics by contesting from Dumka, but lost to Stephen Marandi in 2005. After the death of his elder brother , he took centre stage, began to guide the party under the mentorship of his father. He also became Deputy Chief Minister in the Arjun Munda government. In 2013, he became Chief Minister and led the alliance with the Congress for 18 months. Later he became to reinvented himself, while the Raghubar Das had a strict and strong image, he had peo-ple-friendly image. He began to show as a progressive leader, using social media to put forth his views on issues such as tribal issues, mob-lynching deaths. This attracted the masses to him.
Though victory and defeat are vital parts of the political party like BJP, the results will further dent the BJP’s political fortunes and mandate which is planned for the country. While this is the time for BJP to introspect, the new Chief Minister should focus on solving the issues he has promised to resolve for the people of Jharkand.