Pressure on BJP to repeat 2014 Lok Sabha performance in Jharkhand Polls

The Election Commission of India announced elections to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, on Friday.  This is going to be the 4th election in the state, after its creation in 2000 and the Commission has decided to hold the polls in-between November 30th and December 20th. December 23rd is chosen as the tentative date for the election results.

Reports on previous state-elections reveal, no part has won the majority in the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly. Results of Assembly Constituency of 2019 Lok Sabha suggests, BJP should get the majority in Jharkhand Assembly. And it won 11 out of 14 Lok Sabha seats and took a lead in 57 ACs. All Jharkhand Students’ Union Party (AJSUP), which is its alliance partner won one seat and took a lead in 6 ACs. Therefore, both BJP and AJSUP combined vote share was 55% in these elections.

In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 12 out of 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state. It won 37 seats in Assembly elections held later that year. But such results as in 2019 Lok Sabha elections never got replicated.  BJP could not show such a performance even in the Maharastra and Haryana assembly elections.

As of now, this Jharkhand elections will also be very crucial for the opposition parities- Congress and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), who may have still not announced their alliance for the assembly elections, but both the parties formed a grand alliance including the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha and others to take on BJP in the 2019 general elections.

But even this grouping could neither stop NDA to sweep in the state, nor could it stop the BJP-led alliance to win 12 Lok Sabha seats. Now it is to be seen, whether the opposition alliance falls out like it did in 2014 assembly elections, or remains intact. The 4th National Family and Health Survey (NFHS) survey conducted in 2015-16, reports about 28% of the state’s population comprises of SCs and other OBCs. And the post-poll analysis of the 2019 general elections, done by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and Lokniti found that the BJP-led NDS won with the support from the voters across caste groups.

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