The first phase of Jharkhand Assembly polls took place on November 30. The 81-member Assembly is scheduled to complete in over five phases. Meanwhile, campaigning for the second and third phase has intensified and candidates are raising the issues of unemployment, terrorism, Naxalism and unprecedented hike in onion prices.
According to data released by the Election Commission, Jharkhand has a total of 2.26 crore eligible voters. The number of polling stations that are being used by voters across the state is 29,464. This number is 19 percent higher than in 2014.
Jharkhand Assembly Polls: Dates and constituencies
|1||November 30||Chatra, Gumla, Bishunpur, Lohardaga, Manika, Latehar, Panki, Daltonganj, Bishrampur, Chhatarpur, Hussainabad, Garhwal, Bhawanathpur|
|2||December 7||Baharagora, Ghatsila, Potka, Jugsalai, Jamshedpur East, Jamshedpur West, Seraikella, Kharsawan, Chaibasa, Majhgaon, Jaganathpur, Manoharpur, Chakradharpur, Tamar, Mandar, Torpa, Khunti, Sisai, Simdega, Kolebira|
|3||December 12||Kodarma, Barkatha, Barhi, Mandu, Hazaribagh, Simaria, Barkagaon, Ramgarh, Dhanwar, Gomia, Bermo, Ichagarh, Silli, Khijri, Ranchi, Hatia, Kanke|
|4||December 16||Sindri, Nirsa, Dhanbad, Jharia, Tundi, Baghmara, Bokaro, Chandankiyari, Madhupur, Deoghar, Bagodar, Jamua, Gandey, Giridih, Dumri|
|5||December 20||Rajmahal, Boiro, Barhait, Litipara, Pakur, Maheshpur, Sikaripara, Dumka, Jama, Jarmundi, Nala, Jamtara, Sarath, Poreyahat, Godda, Mahagama|
Who is likely to win?
The total number of seats in Jharkhand assembly is 81 and therefore the winning coalition needs at least 41 seats to to form a government in the state.
The regional parties have always played a key role in the state since it was carved out of Bihar on November 15, 2000. This time too, despite all major parties contesting the regional parties are being closely watched. Though the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is striving to put up a good show to regain power in the state, claims that the importance of regional parties and leaders has declined of late.
That the BJP is putting in its best efforts and have fielded its star campaigners, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah.
The two big regional parties of Jharkhand -- the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) led by maverick politician and former deputy Chief Minister Sudesh Mahato and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) led by the first state Chief Minister Babulal Marandi -- are back in the poll rink and are going alone.
In 2014, the BJP contested Jharkhand Assembly election in alliance with the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU). They got 43 of 81 assembly seats defeating the grand-alliance of the Congress, the RJD, the JDU and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).
Second phase of vote to decide fate?
The second phase of Jharkhand Assembly vote in 20 seats on December 7 will decide fate of many political heavyweights. These constituencies, comprising all 14 seats of the Kolhan division and six of the South Chottanagpur division, fall in the Maoist-infested areas of the state. Kolhan is a stronghold of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), if 2014 poll results are taken into consideration. Despite the Prime Minister Narendra Modi wave, the JMM had won eight seat then.
Result will be declared on December 23
(With inputs from IANS)