By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2019-12-23 18:33:43
The BJP has been decisively beaten in Jharkhand. At the time of writing this article, the Congress-JMM alliance had secured wins/leads in 44 seats (the majority mark is 41). The outgoing chief minister, Rahgubar Das of the BJP has already conceded defeat. This win is a shot in the arm for the Opposition which has finally found three sticks to beat the BJP with - the floundering economy, the NRC and the CAA.
Although state elections are normally fought on local issues (and there were many such issues in Jharkhand), it would not be wrong to say that the state of the economy along with the lack of jobs, the rising food inflation, the general fear over the NRC and the confusion over the CAA must have played on the minds of voters. They have voted for the Opposition to send out a clear signal to the BJP - that it has failed to deliver the promised "acche din".
The overriding concern in the state this time was the decision of the outgoing government to bring changes in the Chota Nagpur and Santhal Pargana tenancy laws to make land acquisition easier in order to bring large projects to the state. But it seemed to have boomeranged. The Adivasis were angry as they thought it to be a backdoor attempt to snatch their land. The Raghubar Das government did nothing to pacify them. They chose to reply by not pressing the button with the lotus symbol.
The youth was disillusioned as whatever little opportunities they had in the backward state have dried up in the last six months as the economy has witnessed a severe downturn. There has been no major development in the state in the last five years and coupled with the anger amongst the Adivasis, the writing was on the wall for the BJP. The exit polls had predicted a close fight but in the end, the Opposition managed to take advantage of the anti-incumbency and put it across the BJP.