The 2019 Lok Sabha elections are right around the corner and the political parties have started measuring their strengths and weaknesses in the run up to the elections. There is a clear cut demarcation in the political scene of India with BJP and pro-BJP/pro-Modi parties to one side while the opposition consists of the pseudo-liberals, opportunistic and dynastic parties. While every state in the country will be important for the BJP this time, especially Jharkhand, considering the massive wave of BJP which is present in the state at this time. The state of Jharkhand with 14 Lok Sabha seats might not be a game changer number wise, but the impact of policies of Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das and PM Modi which is slowly transforming the state is also being felt by the neighbours like Odisha and West Bengal. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections Jharkhand had surprised everyone by giving BJP 12 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats. While the opposition party Jharkhand Mukti Morcha had to contend itself with just 2, Congress was nowhere to be found when the election results were announced.
The Bharatiya Janata Party fights elections in coalition with the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) today. The two parties together had managed to win the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly Elections held in 2014. BJP today has 43 while AJSU has 4 MLAs out of a total of 82 (1 nominated) in the state. The policies of Jharkhand CM and BJP leader Raghubar Das have ensured that there is a huge wave of support for the BJP among the population of the state. Anti-conversion law which seeks to protect the tribal communities from the clutches of the Christian missionary organisations has been widely supported by the people. Jharkhand has also witnessed a widespread growth of road network and other infrastructure in the state which has made the lives of the people easier. While the upper caste has always voted in favour of BJP, Raghubar Das’s accession to the CM chair means the votes of the other communities too would come to the BJP now. The voters from the scheduled tribes which have a significant presence in the state too would see a tilt in favour of the BJP now considering the laws favouring them which have been applied in the state.
The less said about the opposition in the state, the better it would be. Congress lacks a proper face in Jharkhand today, and it has always been so, it has played the second lead to JMM in the state. JMM too is seeing dwindling popularity with its firebrand leader Shibu Soren rarely making a public appearance nowadays. The other parties like JVMP, CPM and MCC have a very insignificant voter base in the state and are not likely to make a significant dent in the winning prospects of the BJP. The only good they might do is they will make the fight a triangular one meaning BJP will benefit the most out of it. In 2019, BJP might even clean sweep the elections by winning all 14 seats of the Lok Sabha elections. If this idea sounds a bit far fetched, one should remember that BJP had won just 8 seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, it added 4 more to the list to make the tally go up to 12 in the Lok Sabha 2014. With proper planning and co-ordinated attempts BJP can ensure that no party comes even close to its tally in the state.