Lok Sabha elections 2019: Close shave for BJP on tribal seats of Jharkhand

Despite Modi magic working across Jharkhand, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had a close shave on tribal dominated parliamentary constituencies. Of the five seats reserved for scheduled tribe (ST), BJP managed to win three seats including two with tough battle.

JMM saved its Rajmahal seat where its candidate Vijay Hansdak defeated BJP Hemlal Murmu by votes. Congress’ Geeta Koda made a comfortable win on Singhbhum seat by defeating Lakshman Gilua by votes.

Even though BJP sees Dumka as a big ticket win where its candidate Sunil Soren defeated JMM supremo Shibu Soren by 36,815 votes, it faced neck and neck fight in Khunti and Lohardaga.

In Khunti, BJP’s one of the tallest tribal leaders and three-time chief minister Arjun Munda defeated Congress’ Kali Charan Munda in very close margin of mere 1098 votes. The BJP candidate trailed in initial rounds of counting. Congress was in upbeat mood hoping to win the seat with good margin. However, things turned around in last legs of counting where Arjun managed to win but with close margin.

Also read: AJSU makes Lok Sabha debut with a win in Giridih

Almost similar trend was seen in Lohardaga, where Congress’ Sukhdeo Bhagat, who made gains in initial rounds, lost in tough contest to BJP’s Sudarshan Bhagat. The union minister of state for tribal affairs, Sundarshan won the seat by 9,459 votes.

State BJP media team member Pradip Sinha said, “A tough fight on two seats Khunti and Lohardaga was seen only because of organized voting by Christian communities against BJP and the Pathalgadi issue, which impacted tribal sentiment due to misguidance by opposition parties. But, we won the seats for developments works carried out by the BJP government.”

Political observer LK Kundan, who is an associate professor of political science department at Ranchi University said, “The opposition parties, mainly JMM, campaigned against BJP saying that the BJP would take away their lands and they would be made landless if come to power. This worked somewhere, which reflected in the results. Tribalism and domicile are still two major issues for tribals in Jharkhand.”

First Published:
May 24, 2019 17:35 IST

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