The ruling BJP expressed confidence on Friday that it will win more than 65 seats in the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly, asserting that incumbent Chief Minister Raghubar Das will be the face of the party in the upcoming polls in the state. The party's in-charge for the Jharkhand Assembly polls, O P Mathur, said the BJP will return to power on the basis of its state government's performance and on the popular appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Asked about the party falling short of its target in the recent Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls, Mathur said every state election was different and so were the factors influencing voters. "Our leadership has set a target of winning more than 65 seats. I am confident that we will achieve it.... Raghubar Das will be the party's face for the post of chief minister," he said.
The party cadre will also work to boost the voting percentage during the Jharkhand polls, which will be conducted in five phases between November 30 and December 20, Mathur said. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won 37 seats in the 2014 Jharkhand polls and got past the majority mark in the Assembly as a number of MLAs from other parties joined it.
Announcing the election schedule on Friday, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the polls will be held in the Naxalism-affected state on November 30, December 7, 12, 16 and 20. The Jharkhand Assembly polls were held in five phases in 2014 as well.
The BJP is in power in the state and an alliance of opposition parties, mainly the Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, is making a determined bid to oust the government headed by Chief Minister Raghubar Das.