Given the fact, Jharkhand only has 14 Lok-Sabha seats, it ranks lower on the priority-list of the big national level political parties; no doubt, the regional parties are giving tough fight to the national parties, as the fight for the precious votes intensifies in the coming days. However, as the race to win a magical figure of 272 Lok-Sabha seats in the upcoming election hot up, Jharkhand’s 14 seats cannot be ignored, as it seems that these 14 seats could be pocketed by any contesting Political Party.
Name of the State
Number of Lok-Sabha Seats
|4||Andhra Pradesh (Shall be divided soon)||
In the state of Jharkhand, it is highly unlikely that same set of the 14 elected Member of Parliament (M.P.) would be re-elected by the voters. Although one may not rule out that the couple of the elected M.P.s might buck the trend and get re-elected. But the dominating trend will be the election of new faces, as most of the elected M.P.s failed to do justice to their respective constituencies and to their Jharkhand state, during their parliamentary term.
To further elucidate our point, let’s look at the present set of elected M.P.s from Jharkhand state:
|Name of Lok-Sabha Seat||
Name of Elected M.P.
Name of the Political Party
|1.||Hazaribagh||Yashwant Sinha||Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)|
|2.||Godda||Nishikant Dubey||Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)|
|3.||Giridih||Ravindra Kumar Pandey||Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)|
|4.||Dhanbad||Pashupati Nath Singh||Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)|
|5.||Rajamahal||Devidhan Besra||Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)|
|6.||Khunti||Karia Munda||Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)|
|7.||Lohardaga||Sudarshan Bhagat||Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)|
|8.||Dumka||Shibu Soren||Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)|
|9.||Palamau||Kameshwar Baitha||Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)|
|10.||Kodarma||Babu Lal Marandi||Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM)|
|11.||Jamshedpur||Ajay Kumar||Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM)|
|12.||Ranchi||Subodh Kant Sahay||Indian National Congress (INC)|
|13.||Chatra||Inder Singh Namdhari||Independent|
The fact is that most of the elected Lok-Sabha members named here, they have little to show for their performance, with perhaps the possible exceptions of couple of Member of Parliament. No doubt that most of the M.P.s would have tough task ahead of them, to get them re-elected by the informed voters. The prevailing situation is no different for the various political parties operating in the state.
Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)
In the last election BJP won 50% of the Lok-Sabha seats in Jharkhand and in the upcoming 2014 election, BJP would certainly like to increase or at least keep up the present number of seats. But, it’s highly unlikely scenario that it would be able to do so. Unless, BJP sacrifices some of its non-performers and give tickets to fresh energetic faces, it may not repeat or better its performance of the past. At best, the contesting candidates from BJP would pray for some kind of “Modi-magic”, to escape the public ire against their non-performance.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)
JMM has entered into a poll-agreement with the INC that it would contest only in the 4 Lok-Sabha seats in Jharkhand and it is quiet likely that it would be able to keep or even better the last tally of 2 Lok-Sabha seats in 2014. JMM draws its strength from Santhal Pargana region of Jharkhand, as most of its voters from that region have strong emotional bond with JMM party leader Shibu Soren. But the lack of good candidates might hurt the party; besides the sheen of Dishom-Guru has already been eroded, as he fights the twin charges of corruption and poor governance.
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM)
A young regional political party founded by Jharkhand’s first Chief Minister Babu Lal Marandi has done well to garner 2 Lok-Sabha seats, despite swimming against the tide, especially when one considers the bitter break-up that he had with his erstwhile political party BJP. But given the fact that JVM is personality driven party, a lot like JMM; the huge baggage of past governance carried out by Babu Lal Marandi may or may not work in JVM party candidates’ advantage. The party could only better its current tally of 2 seats by giving tickets to creditable political / non-political fresh faces.
Indian National Congress (INC)
Congress party has an agreement with JMM that it will contest in 10 Lok-Sabha seats of Jharkhand. In the best case scenario, suppose JMM agrees to honour this poll-agreement and allows Congress to contest 10 seats, in that case too, it would be difficult to expect much improvement from its present tally of one Lok-Sabha seat. As for the first time Congress would be fighting the twin incumbency factor, after it decided to form a coalition government with JMM and RJD. The popular anti-government sentiments on the streets of Jharkhand are strong and it would really take a herculean task to reverse this tide. Unless, INC decides to completely overhaul its government, party-organization and bring in fresh set of honourable candidates; but that shall be easier said than done, in a big-political party plagued by lot of egos and infighting.
Smaller Parties like AJSU, RJD, JDP, Independent & Others
The public posturing by the leaders of these small political parties underline their growing ambition in Jharkhand; they want to contest good number of Lok-Sabha seats. But the bitter fact is that in the 2014 elections, the smaller parties would need a miracle to open their accounts; unless they decided to focus on couple of seats which are considered their stronghold. To open their account; they need to concentrate their time and efforts on handful of seats only.
Can AAP Make a Dent in Jharkhand?
Jharkhand, since its inception in 2000, it has yet to experience stable and good governance in the last 13 years. This situation could prove to be an opportunity for newly formed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), to try and win as many seat as possible. But AAP is still considered to be an urban political party, born in a metropolitan city; so their electorate success might get limited in the semi-urban and the rural areas of Jharkhand; wherein the Maoist forces lurk in backdrop. Besides, with less than 6 months to go, the time-window available to AAP to build its party from scratch seems a tall order. Yes, AAP can win big chunk of 14 seats; if it can correctly select the seats, to contest the election.
All in all, the upcoming 2014 elections would be fascinating contest, not only in India but also in Jharkhand state.
May the best candidates win from Jharkhand.
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