As counting of votes for the Jharkhand Assembly election begins, it will be clear in a few hours if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retains power in the tribal-dominated state or the alliance between Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) emerges victorious.
All eyes are on Hemant Soren who in Jharkhand with the working president of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha emerging as the most favoured chief ministerial candidate in Jharkhand as per the exit poll.
Shibu Soren’s successor and former Jharkhand Chief Minister, Hemant Soren, had led a coalition government with Congress in 2014.
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The result of the Jharkhand Assembly election on Monday will decide if Hemant Soren’s dream of becoming the Jharkhand Chief Minister again is fulfilled or five more years are added to this wait. However, if the exit poll estimates are proved correct, Hemant Soren’s return as Jharkhand CM is almost certain.
It is important to see here that Hemant Soren, the face of the grand alliance in Jharkhand, is himself contesting from two seats. Hemant Soren is facing a tough fight from Woman and Child Welfare Minister Lois Marandi of the BJP from Dumka and Simon Malto of the BJP from Barhait — a stronghold of the JMM.
BJP STRONGHOLD IN DUMKA
Lois Marandi of the BJP is the MLA from Dumka assembly seat. Lois defeated Hemant Soren by over 5,000 votes in the 2014 election. In the 2005 assembly election, Stephen Marandi, who fought as an independent candidate, had emerged victorious.
Hemant Soren was elected an MLA from Dumka in 2009. In 2014, however, Soren was defeated by BJP’s Lois Marandi.
BARHAIT CREATED LEADER OF OPPOSITION
In 2014, Hemant Soren had tried his luck from the same two seats. While he was defeated from one seat, voters of Barhait sent Soren to the Jharkhand Assembly. Hemant Soren also went on to become the Leader of Opposition. This time, the BJP has laid siege to Soren’s stronghold with Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself addressing public meetings in Dumka as well as in Barhait.
THE EXIT POLL SAYS…
As per the India Today-Axis My India survey, 29 per cent have declared Hemant as their choice for the post of Chief Minister of Jharkhand. On the other hand, Chief Minister Raghubar Das is preferred by 26 per cent, Babulal Marandi 10 and nine for AJSU President Sudesh Mahato. The JMM, meanwhile, maintains that it will win the 2019 Jharkhand Assembly elections with a big margin from both seats. What happens in real, however, will be revealed in a short while as results are released after counting of votes.
Also read | Dumka: JMM’s Hemant Soren leads in early trends
Source – India Today