Exit polls for the Assembly elections in Jharkhand have predicted a lead for the JMM-Congress-RJD alliance in the 81-member House. While the India Today-Axis survey has predicted that the Opposition alliance is likely to form the next government, the IANS-C Voter-ABP poll has predicted a hung Assembly.
The ruling BJP currently has a clear majority in the House. Assembly polls in the state were held in five phases — the last on Friday. The final and fifth phase saw 71.69 per cent polling across 16 seats. The counting of votes will take place on December 23.
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The India Today-Axis survey predicted 38-50 seats for the Opposition alliance and gave 22-32 seats to the BJP. The majority mark in the 81-member Assembly is 41.
The IANS-C Voter-ABP poll, on the other hand, predicted that the BJP would win between 28 and 36 seats and the Opposition alliance would get between 31 and 39 seats. Both polls indicated that the All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU) and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajantrik) (JVM-P) is likely to win 3-5 seats each and could end up as “kingmakers”.
A local news channel, News 11, predicted 30-35 seats to BJP, 17-22 seats to JMM, 9-12 seats to Congress, 8-12 seats to AJSU and 4-6 seats to JVM-P, pointing at a hung Assembly.
The BJP had intially campaigned on the issues such as Article 370, Ram Temple and Triple Talaq and the focus shifted to the Citizenship Amendment Act in the later phases. The Opposition raised local issues such as lack of employment, water scarcity and the protection of “jal, jungle, zameen”.
In the 2014 Assembly elections, the BJP had bagged 37 seats and formed the government with alliance partner AJSU that won five seats. Six MLAs of the Babulal Marandi-led JVM-P joined the BJP soon after the elections. The JMM and the Congress won 17 and 6 seats, respectively.