To be held in three phases — April 10, 17 and 24 — the Lok Sabha polls in Jharkhand will have a significant impact in the formation of a government at the Centre. Though, comparatively the number of seats is less, only 14, the reputation and careers of several big, national leaders would be at stake in the state. RJD’s Lalu Prasad, Congress party’s Jairam Ramesh, BJP’s Yashwant Sinha and Arjun Munda are some of the reputed national leaders, who are directly involved in influencing the voters. Yashwant, in fact, would be a candidate himself.
While the national parties — the Congress and the BJP — would strive hard to win the maximum number of seats, regional parties, mainly the JMM, JVM-P and the AJSU, are leaving no stone unturned to make their presence strongly felt by snatching seats from their rivals. Given the kind of homework they have been doing over the years, no party can be considered small or weak.
But with seven sitting MPs, vis-a-vis a strong Narendra Modi wave, the BJP can confidently claim to have an edge.
The fight in almost all the seats would be interesting as the parties are fielding the best candidates, meticulously calculating the caste, political background, credentials and other factors that can swing voters in their favour.
Barely five days have elapsed since the poll dates were announced and party hopping has begun with disgruntled leaders switching sides and the parties opting to field newer faces. Some parties are not even blinking before replacing even the sitting MPs, whose performance chart has been dismal over the past five years.
The Maoists might try to disrupt polls, but things won’t be easy for them either.