Ranchi: When the Mahagathbandhan was being formed in Jharkhand, it looked strong. To stop it from snatching away its seats, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did its best, right from taking some harsh decisions to poaching candidates from its opposition. And at the end, it seems like all the efforts made by the saffron party has yielded the desired result for it in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.
Right from not fielding its candidate from Giridih Lok Sabha seat, a traditional bastion for the party to fielding an outsider to denying ticket to its 5-time Member of Parliament Ravindra Pandey to leaving the seat for alliance partner All Jharkhand Student Union (AJSU), BJP tried all strategy to keep their votes consolidated.
AJSU fielded Raghubar Das’ Cabinet Minister Chandra Prakash Choudhary. Choudhary, a resident of Ramgarh, who was even dubbed as “outsider” won the seat comfortably for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with a margin of over 2.48 lakh. In 2014, BJP had won the seat, with a margin of only over 40,000 (approx) votes.
In Ranchi too, BJP removed its five-time MP Ramtahal Choudhary and fielded a new face from the party itself – Sanjay Seth, who also won the seat for the party with a margin of 2.83 lakh votes. Seth won the seat after defeating senior Congress leader Subodhkant Sahay.
The third major gamble that the BJP took was in Koderma, where it not only denied the ticket to incumbent MP Ravindra Rai, but also brought in former RJD state chief Annapurna Devi and fielded her for as the candidate for Koderma. Rai was state chief in 2014, but the party was unhappy with his performance and chose to deny him the ticket. Here too the gamble clicked and Annapurna Devi won by over 4.55 lakh votes.
In Khunti too, BJP denied the ticket to another five-time-MP, Karia Munda, and instead fielded former Chief Minister Arjun Munda. Here Munda had a tough fight from Congress candidate Kali Charan Munda. Arjun Munda was leading by a margin of a few thousand votes by the time this report was being filed.
Besides Giridih, Koderma, Ranchi and Khunti, where the party had not made any changes its candidates or left the seat for its alliance parties, BJP candidates performed really well. In Hazaribagh, Jayant Sinha is also won by a margin of over 4.79 lakh votes.
Significantly, Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha (JMM) Chief Shibu Soren lost to BJP candidate Sunil Soren, in Dumka. The JMM Supremo had won the seat eight times and would have created history by winning it for the ninth time, but Sunil defeated him by over 47 thousands votes.
The Lohardaga seat, where it was being believed that Congress would be faring better, BJP’s Sudarshan Baghat leading by over 9 thousand votes.
Former Director General of Police VD Ram, who had entered politics in 2014 and won on BJP’s ticket from Palamu seat is also leading with a margin of 4.77 lakhs this time.
Dhanbad and Chatra’s sitting MPs—PN Singh and Sunil Singh are also leading with a huge vote margin, while another sitting MP from Jamshedpur Bidyut Mahto won by over 3 lakhs votes
In Jharkhand, it was the personality and name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that played a crucial part in boosting the BJP vote share. Most BJP candidates in Jharkhand were seeking votes in his name and they got it. In fact, on all four Lok Sabha constituencies—Ranchi, Lohardagga, Koderma and Khunti where Narendra Modi had campaigned, BJP has won.
And except Khunti, the winning margin of all the BJP candidates has increased in comparison to their 2014 winning margin.
An excited Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das told media persons in Ranchi, “In Jharkhand where selfish people had formed a grand alliance has been rejected by the people, and expressed faith on BJP. It is a new beginning. We can also say that, people from Jharkhand as well as across India have liked development politics than caste and religious one.”
When eNewsroom asked Babulal Marandi, Mahagathbandhan’s Koderma candidate and Jharkhand Vikash Morcha Chief (JVM) chief, will the Lok Sabha election results impact the upcoming assembly polls in Jharkhand, scheduled in December, he reacted, “Lok Sabha and assembly elections are contested on different political issues. BJP had lost in three states in during the assembly polls in 2018, but they have won the Lok Sabha elections Rajasthan, MP and Chattisgarh. In 2014, BJP had won 12 seats but could not get a majority in the assembly election. So, we sit and introspect at a micro level to gauge where things have gone wrong so that we can put up a stronger fight against the BJP, together.”