Jharkhand has a volatile political fabric ever since its formation in 2000. The state had never seen any stable government until the 2014 assembly elections and 2014 Lok-Sabha elections that changed the course of the state.
BJP emerged as the single-largest party in the 2014 Jharkhand assembly election giving the state its first stable government. The state was also decisive in choosing BJP in the general elections like the rest of the Hindi heartland. BJP secured a stunning majority of 12 out of the total 14 seats in the elections.
But the comfortable margins the party had earned in both these elections in 2014 hardly is giving them any relief this time. The state under the chief ministership of Raghubar Das is currently riding on a strong anti-incumbency feeling. The government is accused of a series of corruption charges in land acquisition, mining leases and distribution of quilts. The dilution of important tribal land laws and domicile policy had also drawn strong criticism against Raghubar Das government. As a state that has huge number of forest resources, the influence of tribal communities is a major element in the elections.
National issues like unemployment, demonetisation and Rafale deal are also being raised by Congress and other regional parties.
Congress has forged a multi-party alliance consisting of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Babulal Marandi’s Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (P) and the RJD to take on BJP.
Regional parties have strong influence in Jharkhand. JMM is the major regional party in the state. In the 2014 LokSabha elections, JMM won two seats. The party has strong influence among tribal communities in Santhal Pargana and Kolhan divisions. Ever since the formation of Jharkhand, JMM founder Shibu Soren took oath as Chief Minister thrice and his son Hemant once.
Other major regional parties are Marandi’s JVM(P) and the AJSU Party which is in alliance with the BJP.
The verdict of Lok-Sabha election will also have huge influence on the state assembly elections due in December of 2019.