Ranchi: As many as 16 seats fell vacant in the outgoing House before the 2014 Jharkhand assembly elections after MLAs resigned and joined different parties, according to Assembly records.
BJP, which had been reduced to 18 seats in 2009 after winning 30 seats in the first assembly elections held in 2005, lost one legislator when Arun Mandal, denied ticket, quit and joined the RJD to contest from Rajmahal seat this time. The BJP got its share of 32 legislators after the creation of Jharkhand on November 15, 2000 and the elections held in February that year in the united Bihar. It increased its strength to 33 after Babulal Marandi won a by-poll from vacant Ramgarh seat after assuming as the first chief minister of Jharkhand.
JMM MLAs Hemlal Murmu (Barhait), Bidyut Baran Mahato (Baharaghora) and Simon Marandi (Litipara) quit and joined the BJP.
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While Mahato had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections successfully, Murmu and Marandi are testing their luck in the 2014 assembly polls as BJP candidates. The Congress, which had won 14 seats in the previous polls, is left with ten only.
After losing a by-poll a couple of years ago, the Congress lost Madhavlal Singh (Gomiya) and Anant Pratap Deo (Bhawanathpur), are contesting on BJP ticket from the same seats.
Chandrasekhar Dubey, who won on Congress ticket in 2009, resigned before the Lok Sabha elections and joined the Trinamool Congress before returning to the party just before the assembly polls.
The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik-JVM) became the biggest loser with seven of its 11 MLAs quitting and joining other parties.
The Ajsu party, which won five seats in 2009 polls and added one with Naveen Jaiswal winning a by-poll, lost Jaiswal after he joined the JVM.
The current strength of the outgoing Jharkhand Assembly is; BJP-17, JMM-15, Congress-10, JVM-04, RJD-05, Ajsu-05, JDU-2, Trinamool Congress-2, CPI-ML-Liberation-one, Marxist Coordination Committee-one, Jai Bharat Samanta Party-one, Jharkhand Party-one, Independent one, besides one nominated MLA. The original strength of the parties after the 2009 polls had been; BJP-18, JMM-18, Congress-14, JVM-11, Ajsu-5, RJD-5, JDU-2, CPI-ML-Liberation-one, Marxist Coordination Committee-one, Jharkhand Party-one, Jai Bharat Samanta Party-one, Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch (JJM)-one, Rastriya Kalyan Paksh (RKP)-one, Independents-two. Later, JJM and RKP merged with the Trinamool Congress along with their MLAs Bandhu Tirkey and Chamra Linda respectively before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Linda quit TMC to join the JMM to contest from Bishunpur.
Strength of 2005 Assembly elections: BJP-30, JMM-17, Congress-9, RJD-7, JDU-6, Ajsu-two, NCP-one, All India Forward Block-1, CPI-ML-Liberation-one, UGDP-2, Jharkhand Party-one, Independents-4.
Strength of 2000 Assembly elections held during undivided Bihar state and later 81 MLAs formed the House, the strength was; BJP-32 (before Marandi's bypoll win), JMM-12, Cong-11, RJD-9, Samata Party-5, JDU-3, Jharkhand Vananchal Congress-two, Marxist Coordination Committee-one, CPI-ML-Liberation-one, CPI-three and UGDP-two.