JHARKHAND .. Regional parties to the fore as BJP takes another major hit– after ‘Maha loss of power’

Image credit INDIA TODAY

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (JP) is now running in reverse gear – after a massive victory in the mid-year Lok Sabha polls when it made a clean sweep of several states in the North. With three upsets in successive polls, the party is licking its wounds in Maharashtra, Haryana and now Jharkhand. The party lost power in Maharashtra, narrowly retained governance of Haryana by a last-minute adjustment with a new regional entity, and is now thrown out of power in Jharkhand.
A small comfort for it in the series of defeats in states it ruled for the past five years is that it emerged as the single largest party in Maharashtra and Haryana.
In Jharkhand, the results of the assembly polls out on Monday showed the BJP taking a major hit, losing many seats it held in the assembly, and the regional party the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) emerging as the single largest party. The JMM would form government with its allies the Congress and the RJD, who together have a clear majority in the 90-member house. Last heard: JMM firmed up its win in 30 seats, the Congress in 14 while the BJP was set to win 26 seats. Initial hints were that the BJP could emerge as the single largest party. This too did not happen.
The JMM-led alliance headed by Hemant Soren, son of veteran Shibu Soren, will meet the governor this evening and stake claim to form the government. The BJP has no space for manipulations, as the verdict is clearly in favour of the JMM-Congress-RJD alliance.
Chief Minister Raghubar Das ran the BJP government for five years in association with the AJSU, which split from the alliance later. This is a record, as political instability was a recurring phenomenon in Jharkhand which was formed by bifurcation of Bihar in the year 2000. Raghubar Das is a non-tribal in a state where the tribals form nearly 30 per cent of the population. He faced dissidence in the party, with a section turning against him. A senior leader revolted against him, and contested the polls from Jamshedpur East constituency, resulting in the CM’s defeat. The rebels accused the CM of large-scale corruption.

The BJP’s reverses proved that Lok Sabha elections are different from the assembly polls. National issues dominated the LS polls, and PM Modi was the clear winner since he had no formidable opponent in the Opposition. Voters called the bluff of pretenders to the throne like West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee and scoffed at the machinations of another regional satrap of the time, Nara Chandrababu Naidu and did not put confidence in Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party. In assembly polls, however, state-level leadership and issues mattered most.
While the BJP expected that it could win the polls with a campaign based on Kashmir and CAA-NRC, this did not happen. The central themes of campaign of BJP stalwarts like PM Modi and Amit Shah in the poll campaign in Jharkhand were these, and they failed to click.
Now, BJP will face another test in the coming assembly polls in Delhi, where chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP retain some clout even after a five-year rule.
The Congress party should feel upset, as it could not improve its tally in Jharkhand even as the BJP’s fortunes nosedived there. Similarly, in Maharashtra too, the regional parties gained from the fall in esteem of the BJP and the Congress. However, it would have the satisfaction it will share power with regional parties in both Maharashtra and Jharkhand, where the BJP called the shots in the past. 

The Congress also has in its kitty Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where assembly polls took place months before the Lok Sabha polls this year. IHN-NN
INDIA HERE AND NOW www.indiahereandnow.comemail:indianow999@gamil.com

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