Election Commission (EC) has been going to begin a new chapter in the upcoming Jharkhand polls. Senior citizens and physically challenged people most of the time, fail to exercise their franchise. In a path-breaking decision, EC has allowed elderly and disabled people to vote from their homes through postal ballot for the first time during the forthcoming state assembly polls in Jharkhand, starting from November 30. Almost 498,000 elderly persons and handicapped of the state will be benefitted from this decision by EC
Vote through postal ballot
Jharkhand’s chief electoral officer (CEO), Vinay Kumar Choubey, said the Election Commission of India (ECI) has made provision for voting through postal ballot for senior citizens above the age of 80 years and persons with disability (PWD). He further added “The voters will have to fill form-12 D. Once they filled the form, they will not be able to participate in the normal process of voting at polling stations,” Choubey said.
Focus shifts towards Jharkhand
With the announcement of Jharkhand assembly elections date, political parties have shifted their focus towards the Naxal hit state. Politicians along with media persons, poll officials and others are gearing up for another upcoming fierce battle to be held in five phases from November 30 to December 20. Finally, December 23 would be the day of judgement.
Crucial polls for BJP
The Jharkhand contest is a crucial test for BJP to erase its sub-par performance in the recently concluded elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. Oppositions turned the tables in keenly contested polls in both the states. Modi wave of 2019 Lok Sabha polls was missing. Political pundits are busy in the debate to find out the reason.
Congress, a junior partner
Congress unhesitatingly decided to be part with Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) as a junior partner. Meanwhile, the BJP and its ally, All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) have to defend Raghubar Das government, which may be a daunting task seeing the mindset of the voters of Maharashtra and Haryana.
Seeking national party status
The Janata Dal (United) led by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has been eagerly eyeing on the forthcoming Jharkhand polls. Party’s show in this election will very much decide its fate of being declared a national party.
Criteria of a national party
Election Commission of India (ECI) has set the criteria for being recognised as a national party. A national party needs to get at least 6% of the votes across a minimum of four states or 2% of the total seats in the Lok Sabha from at least three states, or it should be recognised as a state party in at least four states.
The expectation of fierce contest
Ruling and opposition parties both are warming up to woo the voters and grasp the power in Jharkhand. Lalu’s RJD, a famous name in Bihar politics may join the Congress and the JMM alliance. The BJP doesn’t want to leave any stone unturned following the setbacks in Maharashtra and Haryana.
Overview of Jharkhand voters
Number of voters in Jharkhand: 2.27 crore
Total male voters: 11.18 crore
Total female voters: 1.09 crore
Transgender voters: 248
Voter of the age between (18-19): 4.21 lakh
Number of handicap voters: 2.8 lakh
Senior citizens above 80-year: 2.18 lakh