Post Maharashtra Crisis, the five-phase Jharkhand polls that begins from November 30 onwards is just like another battle of Waterloo for leading political parties. But the fate of the winner will be decided on December 23, which is the result day.
Here are some of the top interesting factors that will be counted as game changing in the upcoming Jharkhand elections of 2019:
Old Election Charmers Modi-Shah to Address Rallies
As a tradition, the Prime Minister and current home minister address several rallies before elections in the contesting states. This time also Narendra Modi and Amit Shah delivered their speech in Jharkhand to charm the voters. While addressing an election rally in Daltonganj, Modi made an important remark which pertains to the core issue of the people of Jharkhand. He said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre and the state would continue to protect Jharkhand’s ‘jal’, jungle and ‘zameen’ (water, forest and land). He also praised Raghuber Das’ government for completing its five years in the state.
BJP Suffers Another Lethal Divorce with Ally
Arguments on seat-sharing before the elections were in full swing. The BJP has failed to pour its influence on the smaller parties. An old ally of the BJP, All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) has parted ways and fighting elections alone. On the 15 seats, BJP and AJSU have pitted their candidates against each other.
Experts believe that the BJP’s break-up with AJSU will be counterproductive for the saffron party. Local party AJSU has the luxury of support from the Kurmi community and from the tribal pockets, especially in the area of Chhotanagpur. Such factors may dent the chance of BJP’s victory in the forthcoming state polls.
BJP’s Solo run – Show of Confidence or Over Confidence?
The ruling party is contesting Jharkhand’s polls all alone for the first time, it has declared the names of 79 candidates to contest for the state’s 81 assembly seats. The BJP is still confident to win more than 65 seats in the upcoming Jharkhand assembly polls. But the party has not snapped all the ties with AJSU. It has kept the post-poll option open with AJSU. So, the party has not fielded any candidate against AJSU chief Sudesh Mahto.
Will BJP Play Its Old Cards?
What are some of the biggest weapons that the BJP has used in the recent elections? Post its coming back for a second term, BJP has been using the subjects of nationalism, Ram Mandir and scrapping of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir as heavy artillery machines to fire at its opponents. However, these two armouries had proved to be outdated in Maharashtra and Haryana. Such emotional issues have lost the sheen and proving less effective now for the politicians.
Will BJP’s Break Up Song Help the Opposition?
While BJP is going solo, the alliance of JMM, Congress and RJD is looking like a formidable side to challenge the ruling party. These three parties have a hold in every strata of the Jharkhand society. The JMM has a perfect hold over the tribal population. Congress and RJD are known faces in the state and their outreach is so wide that it can damage the BJP’s arithmetic of more than 65 seats.
Behind Every Successful Politician, there will be Women
Women will play a decisive role in the upcoming polls in Jharkhand. They are the majority voters in 10 assembly seats and their overall influence is powerful in more than 20 segments which can change the complexion of the assembly results. Women in Jharkhand left their men counterpart behind in contributing more than men in one-fourth assembly segments during the Lok Sabha polls.
In Jharkhand, women’s votes count a lot. There are a total of 2.26 crore voters in Jharkhand, out of which 1.08 crore are women. The awareness among women in the state is higher than men. In the 2019 General Elections, more women of over 1.06 lakh were enrolled as voters compared to men of over 86,000. This is a healthy sign showing women are on track of being empowered in the state.
Nitish Kumar had successfully understand the woman-factor in the elections which was why he charted a win in the 2015 state election by wooing the women voters. He had brought in effect a ban on liquor sale and he had promised to reserve 50 per cent of the seats in the gram panchayat for women.
Since then all political parties have tried to present themselves as champions of women’s cause. PM Modi, likewise, eloquently highlights Ujjwala Yojana of LPG connection, toilet construction under Swachh Bharat campaign and Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao drive for the Jharkhand elections. Top Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi have been speaking about implementing 33 per cent quota for women in state legislatures and Parliament.
SC & ST may Change Arithmetic
Tribal voters are significant in Jharkhand. Their contribution is more than one-third of the total voters in the state. They contribute 86 lakh votes out of 2.26 votes. Apart from this Scheduled Caste (SC) vote is a formidable force, which is 39 lakhs. Over 37 seats in Jharkhand has been reserved for the SCs and STs. Winning the heart of SC & ST voters during the election time is the real karishma that the leaders can hope to achieve.
The Owaisi Factor
All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimee (AIMIM) of Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi is set to contest from 20 seats. This party has been focussing on such constituencies where a huge Muslim population is residing. Muslim constitutes about 15 per cent in the state. The Muslim vote is likely to be split between AIMIM and the alliance of JMM, Congress and RJD.
Jharkhand assembly election is undoubtedly a multi-cornered contest. But the ball is in the court of tribal population and women. Therefore, all the parties are showing sympathy towards women and tribal population. But it is likely to be another nail-biting finish in the upcoming Jharkhand polls. Everyone has to wait anxiously till December 23 for the result.