Trumping the BJP, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has emerged as the single-largest party in the 81-seat assembly with party leader Hemant Soren set to stake claim to power today. The JMM-Congress alliance has comfortably crossed the majority mark of 41
Adding insult to injury, outgoing chief minister Raghubar Das is trailing from Jamshedpur East. JMM leader Hemant Soren has won Barhait seat and is leading from Dumka as well.
The JMM and the Congress-RJD combine had contested the 2014 assembly elections separately. The three parties were, however, part of the coalition government led by JMM leader Hemant Soren from 2013 to 2014 before the elections took place. They parted ways over seat-sharing arrangements and the JMM chose to plough a lonely furrow.
The BJP, on the other hand, is contesting the assembly polls all by itself for the first time since the creation of Jharkhand in the year 2000, has always gone to the hustings with the AJSU party. The two parties failed to iron out their differences on the number of seats each would contest this time.
A party or a coalition of parties needs 41 seats for a simple majority in the House of 81. Hemant Soren, the leader of the opposition alliance, is ahead of his rivals in both Barhait and Dumka seats. Several BJP ministers including C P Singh and Anil Kumar Bauri are leading, but Raj Paliwar was trailing. Dinesh Oraon, the Speaker of the outgoing assembly and BJP candidate, was also trailing in Madhupur.
Former deputy chief minister and AJSU Party president Sudesh Mahto were leading by 12,515 votes over JMM candidate Seema Devi from his traditional Silli seat. The former chief minister and JVM(P) president Babulal Marandi was leading by 10,252 votes over his nearest rival Raj Kumar Yadav of CPI-ML(Liberation) in Dhanwar seat.
The BJP’s Bihar allies — the JD(U) and LJP — contested the elections on their own and none of their candidates was leading anywhere. The BJP contested 79 seats, supported an Independent candidate in one place and did not put up nominee against AJSU Party president Sudesh Mahto.
Under a pre-poll arrangement, The JMM had the lion’s share of 43 seats, while the Congress fielded nominees in 31 constituencies and Lalu Prasad’s RJD in seven. The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) contested all the 81 seats.