Lok Sabha elections 2019: These elections will shape the future of 3 former CMs of Jharkhand
BJP leader and three-term chief minister Arjun Munda is in the fray from Khunti, in an attempt to take the legacy of party veteran Karia Munda forward.Updated: May 03, 2019 15:35 IST
Three former chief ministers of Jharkhand — Shibu Soren, Babulal Marandi, and Arjun Munda — are in the race to the Parliament from the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
JMM president Shibu Soren, sitting MP from Dumka in the tribal-dominated Santhal Pargana division, is eyeing a record ninth term in Lok Sabha, whereas JVM(P) chief Babulal Marandi, who carries the distinction of being the first chief minister of Jharkhand carved out of Bihar in 2000, is targeting his sixth term in the Lower House.
Marandi has won thrice, in 2004, 2006 by-election and in 2009 from the unreserved Koderma Lok Sabha seat that goes to poll in the fifth phase. He defeated Shibu Soren from Dumka, reserved for Scheduled Tribes, in 1998 and 2000. In 2014, he emerged third from Koderma, won by BJP’s Ravindra Kumar Ray.
BJP leader and three-term chief minister Arjun Munda is in the fray from Khunti, in an attempt to take the legacy of party veteran Karia Munda forward. A former deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, Karia Munda has represented Khunti in the Lower House eight times, but has been rested in 2019 by the party due to the age factor. Koderma and Khunti go to polls on May 6, while Dumka will vote in last phase on May 19. Soren, Marandi, and Munda are the tallest tribal leaders of the state, but the three are at different stages of their respective political careers, and hence the electoral result in 2019 could also shape their political future.
This Lok Sabha election is being considered the last election for 72-year-old Soren, wherein he is locked in a direct contest with BJP’s Sunil Soren, whom the former defeated in 2014.
This election is important for 61-year-old Babulal Marandi and 50-year-old Arjun Munda in different ways as both are in the midst of a crisis in their political careers.
Marandi had formed JVM(P) after quitting BJP in 2006. However, his party has had a limited reach in the state politics ever since, besides battling the defection of its legislators. Brand Marandi took a major hit after he lost back-to-back Lok Sabha and assembly elections in 2014. His party shrunk, after six of its eight legislators joined BJP within months after the 2014 election.
In 2019, he is contesting as a candidate of the opposition Grand Alliance from Koderma, where he is locked in a triangular contest against BJP’s Annapurna Devi and CPI-ML’s Rajkumar Yadav.
BJP leader Arjun Munda is contesting from the Khunti Lok Sabha seat, and the former chief minister is in a direct poll fight with the Congress’ Kalicharan Munda. Arjun Munda, till 2014, was in complete control of Jharkhand BJP until he lost the assembly election.
LK Kundan, a political analyst, said that of the three, the 2019 election was more critical for Marandi and Munda, as Soren was at the fag end of his career. “Not just Marandi, but even his party is in a crisis. If he loses again, it would create ripples in the party as more and more party leaders would start jumping the JVM(P) ship, especially when the assembly elections are only months away. And if he wins, it would elevate his position in the Grand Alliance and he can get stronger from here,” said Kundan, associate professor at Ranchi University.
Kundan said that as far as Arjun Munda’s electoral outcome was concerned, a victory from Khunti would reinstate him on a higher pedestal in the party organisation.
“His victory would be good both for him and the Raghubar Das government. Munda’s victory would elevate his position even at the Centre. Moreover, the rumours of a rift between the Munda camp and Raghubar Das camp could also come to rest. A loss, however, would make Raghubar Das the most powerful leader in the state,” added the academician.
First Published: May 03, 2019 15:34 IST