As BJP lock horns with Congress and allies, a stellar contest is on the cards in Jharkhand Assembly elections 2019. Jharkhand, with its majority Hindu population followed by Muslims, is termed an energy curse state with the first full-term government after its formation. With 26.3% (2011 census data) tribal population, tribal issues and tribal vote is a factor.
The incumbent CM Raghubar Das in his tenure tried to amend tenancy (Chotanagpur Tenancy and santhal Tenancy) acts for which he faced untenable resistance from tribals. There are many (tribal cases on deviation from tribal acts)cases pending in courts against raghubar das government (example Mansa Ram Manjhi vs The State Of Jharkhand on 1 April 2019). We can infer, that incumbent CM became infamous among tribals but, in Lok sabha elections 2019, BJP won many seats in tribal belts. If the results of Lok sabha 2019, anything to go by, we can say that the tenancy acts amendment issue is not only a single one, but there are also many more issues among tribals.
For tribals and the rest of Jharkhand, one of the biggest issues is Naxal menace. Most of the Jharkhand people feel demonetization completely choked the funds of Naxals and due to which they started surrendering, and the way governments (center and state) aggressive steps reduced Naxal violence according to figures of govt. Prime minister Modi’s popularity is also a factor in this election, but it is yet to be seen, how it will turn out into votes. Jharkhand is one of the states with a high unemployment rate, employment is also one of major issues. Raghubar Das government claiming to create many jobs by its (state and center) programs. The women’s vote is also one of the factors.
PM Modi in his championing highlights Ujjwala Yojana of LPG connection, toilet construction under the Swachh Bharat campaign and Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao drive and some other programs initiated by the state government to woe women vote. Congress and others woe’s women with (implementing 33 percent quota for women in state legislatures and Parliament). With issues like article 370 and Ayodya, rafale resolved, there can be a feel-good factor among Hindus in the state, which can go in BJP favor. Entering of AIMIM into the fray will definitely cut the Muslim vote, it can affect Congress and its allies more than BJP. Infighting with its previous ally AJSU, BJP may have lost some edge to woe tribal vote. To conclude, it’s a tight election to call, mostly how Raghubar Das lost image is recuperated by PM Modi’s charm will be the story to be seen. According to me, there will be a wafer-thin margin with BJP’s neck ahead in Jharkhand Assembly elections.