Saffron Party Gets Jharkhand on Promise of Development, Stability
RANCHI: The BJP is likely to form the government in Jharkhand – the party and its ally, All Jharkhand Students’ Union, or AJSU, are leading in 41 of the 81 assembly seats.The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, which was in power, is ahead in 21 seats, and its erstwhile ally Congress is leading only in 8.
As the BJP established a clear lead, Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed confidence that the party will form government in Jharkhand. Party spokesman Prakash Javadekar said, “We are forming government in Jharkhand. We will fulfill Atalji’s dream and take Jharkhand ahead on the road of development.”
The BJP had built its campaign around Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development agenda and the promise of a stable government in Jharkhand. The state, since its creation in 2000, has seen nine governments and three stints of President’s Rule.
“Absolute majority is very important for the people of Jharkhand, for development,” said senior BJP leader and former chief minister Arjun Munda. “I agree there hasn’t been enough development, in spite of us being in power too. But I hope we will do well now and we will take this state from being developing to developed.”
The party’s good performance in Jharkhand comes seven months after its stupendous win in the Lok Sabha elections. In Jharkhand, it had won 12 of the 14 parliamentary seats, signalling a change in the voters’ mood.
After Maharashtra and Haryana, this is the third state the BJP is set to bag following its victory in May. The party desperately needs to boost its numbers in Rajya Sabha, where it is in minority, which makes it difficult to push through key bills and pursue the reform agenda.
The BJP has not named a chief ministerial candidate yet. Mr Munda, a veteran BJP man who has been a three-time chief minister of the state, is in the race for the post. Questioned on the issue, he said, “I am just a worker, will go by what my party says.”
Mr Munda, who had contested from his traditional seat Kharsawan for the fifth time, is, however, trailing.
So are three other former chief ministers – Hemant Soren of JMM from Dumka, Babulal Marandi of JVM-P from both Giridih and Raj Dhanwar seats, and Madhu Koda of Jai Bharat Samanta Party from Majhgaon. Mr Soren, however, is leading from Barhait, the other seat he is contesting from.
“When there are coalition governments, you get tied down by the bureaucracy. Now, hopefully there will be a majority government, by whichever party, and hopefully that will result in better development for Jharkhand,” said JMM spokesman Supriyo Bhattacharya.