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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Record turnout indicative of people’s rejection of BJP, says JMM

While the BJP expressed confidence of winning all 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand, the opposition JMM said the huge turnout in the last phase of general elections indicated rejection of the BJP.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 20, 2019 15:13 IST
Gautam Mazumdar
Gautam Mazumdar
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
lok sabha elections 2019,lok sabha polls in jharkhand,lok sabha elections 2019 phase 7
The final phase of Lok Sabha polls in Jharkhand registered a record voters’ turnout of 71.16%, a jump of nearly 3% over the 2014 polls in three tribal-dominated parliamentary constituencies of Rajmahal, Dumka and Godda, on Sunday.(ANI)

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) on Sunday said the huge turnout in the last phase of Lok Sabha polls indicated rejection of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Th JMM also said it was confident of a repetition of the 2004 Lok Sabha polls’ result.

A similar claim was made by BJP, which said it was sure of winning all 14 seats in Jharkhand. Congress on the other hand said that it was hopeful of improving its tally of seats.

Addressing the media after polling ended on Sunday, BJP Rajya Sabha member Sameer Oraon said the people have voted for party’s agenda of development. Oraon said that through continuous efforts, chief minister Raghubar Das included the Santhal region in the mainstream.

Oraon also projected BJP as the real protector of water, land and forests and maintained that negative attitude of the opposition parties benefited the BJP and the results would be in the party’s favour on May 23.

BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo said a particular party tried its level best to polarise voters on religious lines. A member from a particular religious community was seen appealing to voters on Saturday evening to vote for a particular party, but the people did not pay any heed to them, Shahdeo said.

Meanwhile, JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya said that a turnout of over 70 per cent despite the temperature hovering around 42 degrees was indicative of people’s anger and rejection of BJP. He said the polling has set the tone of the next assembly elections in Jharkhand, due in December.

Also Read | Lok Sabha elections 2019: Scuffles in tribal heartland, voter turnout increases in Jharkhand

Confident of JMM’s poll performance, Bhattacharya said party president Shibu Soren will win by more than 2 lakh votes from the Dumka Lok Sabha seat.

When asked how many seats the Grand Alliance parties will win, he said it would be a repeat of the 2004 general election. The opposition parties had won 13 out of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand in 2004.

The JMM leader congratulated the voters for the record turnout and the officials of the election commission, administration and police for peaceful polling.

He, however, expressed displeasure over the nine-hour polling time in Jharkhand whereas in other states, polling went on for 11 hours. “It is unfair and the voting percentage would have gone up higher otherwise.”

Bhattacharya also reminded of chief minister Raghubar Das’ assurances in 2016 wherein he repeatedly said that he would not come to seek votes if his government fails to provide water and electricity to all by 2018 and mentioned that the Santhal Pargana districts still reel under long dark spells due to water woes.

“The people have made their choice clear and buy voting against BJP, they have sent them the message that BJP should not stay in power by humiliating and harassing them - be it acquiring farmlands, embarrassing people through local residential and employment policies.”

The voters vented their anger for acquiring land for the Adani power plant in Godda, 19 starvation deaths, merger of 16,000 plus primary schools attacking protesting para-teachers, said Bhattacharya.

Congress media in-charge Rajesh Thakur said the Grand Alliance would perform well and Congress will improve its position in Jharkhand. He said BJP has failed to meet expectations and people have rejected the saffron brigade.

JVM (P) chief Babulal Marandi blamed the BJP government of misusing administrative machinery for political gains. The local administrations on Sunday ensured that polling was less in areas dominated by the minorities, he said.

Marandi also said the Modi craze is on the wane and BJP attempted to polarise votes on communal lines and by frightening people.

First Published: May 20, 2019 15:13 IST

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