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JMM keeps away from Singhbhum MP elections despite having five MLAs in constituency

The party has been supporting others since 2004 elections. Only Krishna Mardi of the party had won the seat once. The Jharkhand named party had hold in the constituency till 1977.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 14, 2019 10:04 IST
Manoj Choudhary
Manoj Choudhary
Hindustan Times, Jamshedpur
lok sabha elections,JMM,singhbhum
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MLA from Chaibasa, Dipak Birua(left) greeting Congress candidate from Singhbhum Lok Sabha seat Gita Koda in Chaibasa recently April 13,2019-(Photo by Manoj Kumar-Hindustan Times)

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) historically has its domination in the local politics in Singhbhum but the party has kept away from contesting Lok Sabha elections in the constituency since 2004.

The party continued to hold third position till 1999 but left the seat ever since for Congress for Lok Sabha politics.

The party first contested from the constituency in 1984. Its candidate Krishna Mardi contested four times and emerged out to be the only leader to secure the seat for the party in 1991. Other candidates including Mangal Singh Bobonga (1998) and Champai Soren (1999) gave tough contest and secured third positions.

President of West Singhbhum district JMM committee Bhubneshwar Mahato said that the party did not show interest in parliamentary politics in the constituency as it would not be able to form government in the country. Moreover, party’s members of legislative assemblies (MLAs) from the Singhbhum Lok Saba segment are not interested to contest for the seat.

MLAs in five out of six constituency segments including Chaibasa, Chakradharpur, Manoharpur, Manjhgaon and Seraikela are from JMM. Only Jagannathpur assembly seat in Singhbhum segment is with Congress. Congress’ candidate from the seat Gita Koda is a legislator from Jagannathpur.

Mahato said, “JMM is a financially poor party. Its leaders are unable to spend several crore of rupees to contest Lok Sabha elections. Hence for around 15 years we have been fielding for alliance partner Congress. Even after contesting Lok Sabha and winning, the party MP would not be able to do much for tribal population of the region.”

Sources said that instead of getting popular leaders contested and lost for parliamentary elections, the JMM leaders are interested in putting energy in assembly elections and get maximum number of seats and form government in the State.

Since first Lok Sabha elections, political parties with support among tribals had been securing Singhbhum reserved seat for Scheduled Tribe (ST) having over 70 percent Ho tribe population.

Two regional tribal-based parties had been representing the seat since 1951 to 1980. Jharkhand party won the seat for four times (1951, 1957, 1962 and 1980) while Akhil Bharatiya Jharkhand party did the same for three times (1967, 1971 and 1977).

JMM could secure votes from 8.97 percent to 36.10 percent from 1984 to 1999. The party could secure the seat once in 1991 when Jharkhand movement was at its pick. Later the party got divided into two groups led by Krishna Mardi and Sibu Soren separately.

Chaibasa MLA Dipak Birua said that JMM would convince over 11.52 lakh voters of Singhbhum to caste vote for Congress. Following the party high command direction, JMM leaders in the district would ensure victory to the Congress candidate and let Rahul Gandhi form government at the Centre, he added.

JMM has been sacrificing in Singhbhum to oust BJP from the State and Centre, the MLA said.

JMM’s performance in Singhbhum

Year MPs Position Vote share

1984 Krishna Mardi 3rd 8.97%

1989 Krishna Mardi 3rd 23.05%

1991 Krishna Mardi Won 36.10%

1996 Krishna Mardi 3rd 12.94%

1998 Mangal Singh Bobonga 3rd 24.39%

1999 Champai Soren 3rd 15.17%

2004 Not contested --- ---

2009 Not contested --- ---

2014 Not contested --- ---

2019 Not contesting --- ---

First Published: Apr 14, 2019 10:04 IST