Jharkhand for a change has joined the club of bipartite states. For the first time since its creation in 2000, the state will get a majority government likely to be formed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a strong opposition in Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).
Congress that fought the poll with Janata Dal(United) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), besides other regional parties including Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM), failed miserably to cross the double digit figure.
As of trends available by 2pm, BJP and its allies, comprising AJSU Party and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), were very close to the magical figure of 41 needed to form the government. JMM, as expected, was doing well following the BJP by leading in at least 20 seats.
In the April held general elections, BJP had won 12 out of the14 seats.
The election threw several upsets with BJP's tallest figure and ex-chief minister Arjun Munda losing from Kharsawan to JMM's Dashrath Gagrai. Other big losers included AJSU Party chief Sudesh Mahato who was defeated by JMM's Amit Mahato from home turf Silli, JVM chief and ex-CM Babulal Marandi lost both the seats he contested as well as ex-CM Madhu Koda who lost from his home turf Majhgaon.
CM Hemant Soren of JMM was also trailing from Dumka, considered the party's headquarters, Congress state president Sukhdeo Bhagat, as expected, was trailing from Lohardaga and is likely to lose. Ex-speaker Alamgir Alam of Congress threw a surprise by defeating JMM strongman, Aqeel Akhtar.
There is a strong possibility of change of guard in the party hierarchy with Alam likely to replace Bhagat to win over the minority voters, who have switched over to JMM in this election.
"Attribute it to Narendra Modi mania that the state is going to see its first majority government," BJP vice-president, and a strong CM probable, Raghuvar Das said.
Das won the Jamshedpur East seat by a convincing margin.
The trends sparked celebrations at the BJP office in Ranchi with supporters burning crackers and distributing sweets since 9am.
JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya said JMM has only gained from this poll.
"We are likely to win nearly 30 seats," he said, adding, "The party is proud to announce that we were not against a party but a strong corporate lobby that used all its resources to write us off but failed miserably."
The complete rout of regional and smaller parties barring JMM is an indication that the voters of Jharkhand were fed up with the consistent unstable governments and negligible development.
"This election is a defeat of dynastic politics," said Girdhari Ram Ganjhu, tribal research scholar.
"The poor and down trodden had seen their own victory in elevation of once tea seller, Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister. It's high time, we discourage dynastic politics," he said.
Congress campaign committee in-charge Aditya Jaiswal said the results were not surprising but they will bounce back.
The poll also dealt a severe blow to the aspirations of 363 Independent candidates. Only five independents were leading till 2pm. Independents had always called the shots in government formations in Jharkhand.