In the upcoming Jharkhand Assembly polls, the state capital Ranchi seat is going to witness an interesting tussle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Opposition alliance.
The BJP has been winning this seat for the past 29 years and this time the JMM backed by the Congress wants to wrest the seat away.
The BJP has been winning the seat continuously for the past six elections and this time the Congress has decided not to field its candidate, but to support the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) candidate as part of the opposition alliance.
Although the Congress workers have opposed this, the party leadership decided to support the JMM candidate Mahua Maji. The BJP will continue with its sitting MLA S.P. Singh.
In the last Assembly polls, Singh had defeated JMM candidate Mahua Maji by around 59,000 votes, while the Congress candidate lost his security deposit after getting a mere 7,935 votes. In fact, out of a total of 17 candidates who had contested the last election, 15 lost their security deposits.
The continuous poor performance on the seat forced the Congress to rework its strategy. And, finally, it decided to support the JMM candidate.
The BJP on the other hand has been winning this seat continuously since the formation of the state in 1990.
In 1995 Yashwant Sinha won this seat, but a year later he moved to Rajya Sabha. BJP fielded S.P. Singh from this seat then, and he has been winning this seat ever since.
A senior journalist from Ranchi, Sampurnanand Bharati said: "Ranchi is one of the prominent seats in the state and so all want to win from here.
"The Congress has withdrawn here in favour of the JMM. The BJP will be aggressive to retain this seat and there is a renewed vigour in the opposition alliance after putting up their one candidate."
The elections in Ranchi will be held during the third phase of the Jharkhand polls, for which the notification came on Saturday.
The Ranchi district has five Assembly seats -- Ranchi, Silli, Kanke, Khijri and Hatia. The candidates can file their nominations till November 25. The Election Commission will do the scrutiny on November 26, and the candidates have the time to withdraw till November 28. The polls to these seats will be held on December 12.