Parties in Jharkhand gear up for assembly polls
The Election Commission on Saturday announced that polls in the state will be conducted in five phases -- Nov 25, Dec 2, 9, 14 and 20.
The stakes are high for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which won 12 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats earlier this year.
Former chief minister and seior BJP leader Arjun Munda said: "We (BJP) appeal to the people to vote for stability and development of the state. The only mission of our party is to get people's mandate in a clear cut way. We hope that people of Jharkhand will bless the party (BJP) with more than 55 seats. People voted in favour of our party in the Lok Sabha and the same is expected in the assembly polls."
He said: "There is misgovernance in the state. The JMM-led government, supported by the Congress, is plundering the state. There is law and order problem. The assembly polls will end the woes of the people."
The ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) is hopeful people will vote for the party.
JMM politbureau member Supriyo Bhattacharya told IANS, "The Hemant Soren government has done a commendable job in just 15 months' time. We hope people will give another chance to take forward the work undertaken by Soren. We have set a precedent of good governance in every field."
Zrabindra Singh, Jharkhand Congress spokesperson told IANS: "We were waiting for the announcement of the poll dates. The screening committee has already sent the names of probable candidates for the 81 seats to central leaders. Now, they have to decide whether the party will go it alone or join an alliance."
In the 2009 state election, Jharkhand had witnessed a hung assembly with both the BJP and the JMM winning 18 seats each while the Congress, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) and RJD won 14, 11 and five seats respectively.
Thereafter, Jharkhand witnessed three governments led by Shibu Soren of the JMM, Arjun Munda of the BJP and Hemant Soren, again of the JMM. The state was also under president's rule twice in the current assembly period.