Election: Cong faces difficulty in Jharkhand, BJP not much better off

Posted By: IANS
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Jharkhand map
Ranchi, April 7: The Congress is facing a "difficult position in a few seats" in Jharkhand, but BJP doesn't seem to be much better off as a leader concedes that just "two to three seats are safe for the BJP".

"We hope to get 11 to 12 seats. Even opinion polls have predicted 10 seats for our party," former state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Raghubar Das told IANS.

On multi-corner fight in all the seats, he said: "People have made up their minds. Some regional parties are fighting just to make their presence felt, but this is the Lok Sabha poll not assembly polls."

BJP leaders, however, privately admitted that the polls may spring surprises, and victory margins may be less in many seats.

"Two to three seats are safe for the BJP, but no party is in a position to claim victory in any particular seat," a party leader said.

Jharkhand will see three-phase polling - April 10 (five seats), April 17 (five) and April 24 (four seats).

"The UPA will repeat its 2004 results and win 13 seats in the state," Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who is addressing rallies every day, said at a meeting in Dhanbad Saturday.

The Congress is confident of winning four-five seats.

Jharkhand Congress spokesperson Shailesh Sinha told IANS: "Our tally will improve and we will be able to win four to five seats. It's true the multi-corner fight has given a choice to the people and put us in a difficult position in a few seats but we will also get benefits in other seats."

The Lok Sabha election is being seen as a semi-final for the assembly polls scheduled for November-December.

In 2009, the Bharatiya Janata Party had won seven of the 14 seats and the party is banking on prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's charisma to retain the seats. The party had won four seats in 2009 by less than 5,000 votes.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance is also trying to improve its tally.

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal are fighting on four, nine and one seat respectively. In 2009, the JMM had won two seats and Congress one.

Two regional parties - Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) - are fighting in 14 and seven seats respectively.

Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress is also contesting from 11 seats.

Three legislators - Bandhu Tirkey, Chamra Linda and Chandra Shekhar Dubey - supporting Hemant Soren's government joined the Trinamool and are fighting the polls from Ranchi, Lohardagga and Dhanbad.


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