The battle for the chief minister seat of Jharkhand has turned intense with independent candidate Saryu Roy pushing incumbent CM Raghubar Das to the second position. Das is trailing by a margin of 10,017 votes to Saryu Roy, who was once part of Das' cabinet and was expelled from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), from Jamshedpur East.
Raghubar Das has been winning the Jamshedpur East seat since 1995, against his own party rebel Saryu Rai. No Chief Minister of the state has ever won consecutive polls.
The JMM contested 43 seats, the Congress 31 and Lalu Yadav's RJD, which has a relatively smaller presence in the state, contested in seven seats. Jharkhand voted in five phases. The counting of votes for 81 assembly seats is going on and Hemant Soren will probably become the next Jharkhand CM.
Earlier trends of the Jharkhand assembly election indicated that the BJP is all set to be unseated in yet another state. The Opposition alliance of the Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) appear to be in a commanding position, trends at 5.55 pm indicate.
If these trends continue, JMM's Hemant Soren will be all set to become Jharkhand's next chief minister. While this is good news for Hemant Soren and his party JMM, there is also a reason for him to be worried about, at least symbolically.
Key political parties
BJP, JMM, Congress, RJD, All Jharkhand Students' Union (AJSU) and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) are among the major political parties, which are in the fray in the tribal-dominated state.
n 2014, Raghubar Das took oath as Chief Minister after the BJP won 37 seats and stitched an alliance with the AJSU, which had won 5 seats. However, AJSU broke ties with BJP and contested elections solo this time.
The ruling party has fielded its candidates in 79 out of the 81 seats. However, BJP has not fielded any candidate against AJSU's Sudesh Mahto, and has supported a candidate in the remaining one constituency.
Under the leadership of JMM chief Hemant Soren, Congress and RJD have come together to oust BJP from power. JMM has fielded candidates in 43 seats, while the Congress and the RJD candidates are in the fray in 31 and seven constituencies, respectively.