BJP seemed to be taking early leads in the initial trends/ results being declared so far on Friday for the urban local bodies; polls for 34 municipal corporations/ councils in the state.
The posts of mayor/ deputy mayor of municipal corporations and chairperson/ vice-chairperson of municipal councils were fought along party lines for the first time in the state. The polling was held on April 16.
In the results/ trends so far, BJP has won both the seats – mayor/ deputy or chairperson/ vice-chairperson – in at least five districts. It has won in Pakur, Khunti, Jamtara, Giridih and Chirkunda (in Dhanbad) municipal bodies. The Congress has won both the seats in Lohardaga and Bokaro. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha too has won both the posts in Chaibasa; while Jharkhand Vikas Morcha has bagged both the seats in Chhatarpur (in Palamu district). The BJP has also bagged at least one post – either of the chairperson or the vice-chairperson in at least five places.
Overall, the BJP was leading in 13 places for the posts of mayor/ chairpersons; while Congress was leading in four, JMM in three, All-Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU) was leading at one place, while RJD and independent in two places. Similarly, BJP was maintaining lead in 11 places for the posts of deputy mayor/vice-chairperson, while Congress was leading in three; JMM in two; AJSU Party in two; JVM in three and RJD in two; independents were leading in three places.
However, the fight for the post of mayor and deputy mayor in the Capital Ranchi was proving to be a tough one for the BJP. The BJP had fielded Asha Lakra, sitting Mayor, Sanjeev Vijayvargiya, the sitting deputy mayor, as their candidates for the same posts. Both of them were trailing after the completion of second round of voting. A tough fight was also on Hazaribagh between the BJP and the Congress candidates. BJP leaders claimed that these were early trends and they expected better results in the major cities of the state, including Ranchi and Hazaribagh.
BJP spokespersons said that the results/ trends were encouraging for the Party, as the BJP was making gains in places like Pakur and Khunti.
However, opposition leaders pointed out that they have lost in Chaibasa, which is the area of their state president Laxman Gilua, who is also the MP. Besides, the BJP also failed to win any of the two posts in Latehar, which is the area of Minister of State in Centre, Sudarshan Bhagat, who too is MP from there.
While AJSU Party is an ally of the BJP in the state, it had fought the municipal elections alone. Similarly, the opposition parties, who have often sought to enter into an understanding or an alliance for Rajya Sabha polls or bypolls for assembly seats in the last couple of years, too contested the polls on their own.