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JMM set to retain its bastion Santhal Pargana region from BJP

Jharkhand election results 2019: During the election campaign, the grouse of the tribal community had been that “BJP wants to grab our land”. Moreover, the Opposition's call for the protection of “jal, jungle, zameen” seems to have resonated more with the indigenous population.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 23, 2019 10:38:42 pm
Jharkhand election results 2019: Voters show their ID cards as they stand in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station in Dhanbad. (File)

Jharkhand election results 2019: The resentment among the influential tribal population, who form 26 per cent of the electorate in Jharkhand, against the ruling BJP seems to have worked in favour of the JMM as trends showed the saffron party leading only in five of the 18 seats in the Santhal Pargana region. Follow LIVE Updates

During the election campaign, the grouse of the tribal community had been that “BJP wants to grab our land”. Moreover, the Opposition’s call for the protection of “jal, jungle, zameen” seems to have resonated more with the indigenous population than that of the BJP, which campaigned on issues such as Article 370, Ram Temple, Triple Talaq and the focus shifted to the Citizenship Amendment Act in the later phases.

Considered a bastion of Shibu Soren and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), BJP had broken this notion in 2014, winning eight of the 18 seats spread across Godda, Deoghar, Dumka, Jamtara, Sahibganj and Pakur districts.

BJP won from 21 constituencies including Baghmara, Bishrampur, Bokaro, Deoghar, while JMM-Congress-RJD won from 29 constituencies including Borio, Chaibasa, Dumri and Giridh, Jarmundi and Jharia.

As per latest trends, the BJP is leading in Hatia, Rajmahal constituencies, while the JMM-Congress-RJD combine was in the driver’s seat in Jugsalai, Mahagama seats.

Jharkhand elections | Results of key constituencies

Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) candidate Pradeep Yadav won from Poreyahat by around 13,597 votes.

Soren’s son and the Opposition alliance’s chief ministerial face in the election Hemant Soren won from both Dumka and Barhait seats. His sister-in-law, Sita Soren also won from Jama. All three assembly segments are in Dumka district, the birthplace of Soren.

As many as five seats – Rajmahal, Pakur, Shikaripara, Maheshpur and Jamtara – share border with West Bengal, having sizeable immigrants from Bangladesh and the amended Citizenship Act and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) was a major factor in the constituencies. Except for Rajmahal, the JMM-Congress alliance is leading in the other four seats.

Jharkhand elections, Raghubar Das, jharkhand assembly polls, jharkhand cm, jharkhand polling, jharkhand lynching, jharkhand tabrez khan lynching, indian express Chief Minister Raghubar Das campaigns in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand. (File)

The policies of Raghubar Das, a non-tribal and also the first chief minister to complete a full five-year term in the state, do not seem to have gone down well with the indigenous communities.

The resentment and perceived anger among tribals for the saffron party stems from two legislations that the BJP state government and Centre were forced to withdraw.

In 2016, the Raghubar Das government proposed to amend two of the state’s tenancy laws to make the sale of tribal land to non-tribals less cumbersome through the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act and the Santhal Parganas Tenancy Act, which restrict the sale of tribal land to non-tribals.

However, the government’s move backfired among the tribals, resulting in massive protests by the tribal community. The government finally withdrew the proposed bills.

Moreover, ahead of the Assembly elections, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar announced the withdrawal of a draft of amendments to Indian Forest Act 2018. Several proposals in the draft had triggered an uproar, with activists alleging that the proposed amendments seek to establish the forest department’s stranglehold over forest resources.

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