With Assembly polls going to be held in Haryana and Maharashtra on October 21, all eyes are now centered on the Election Commission of India with a common question-when will it hold Assembly polls in Jharkhand?.
The five-year tenure of the ongoing fourth Jharkhand Assembly is ending on January 5, 2020. In the past, the ECI was expected to hold the Assembly polls in these three states together. This did not happen.
Neither the ECI has conveyed any reason why the polls in Jharkhand are not being held with Maharashtra and Haryana. This has offered space for speculation. A report in an English newspaper had attributed the cause to' Naxal infested areas' of the state where adequate security forces were necessary to hold fair and peaceful polls.
However, a leader of the opposition Dinkar Manjhi of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha has criticized the ECI and alleged that it is playing into the hands of the ruling BJP.'This party needs time to put focus on many ST reserved constituencies where scores of tribals and moolwasis(locals) were put off with its government which has failed to meet their basic needs-sadak,bijli and pani',he opined.
In any case, since October 21 was fixed only for Assembly polls in Haryana and Maharashtra, the possibility of holding
the same polls in Jharkhand shifts to post Diwali days in November-December 2019.
This will give enough time to the ruling BJP led by Raghubar Das to implement schemes -Awas Yojna, Ayusman Bharat, small businessmen's pension and so on and gain their support. Alongside, the opposition JMM,Congress and JVM, whose leaders were divided, can remain busy either working to create 'Mahagatbandhan' or keep criticizing the Raghubar government. Sadly, electorates have no alternative than keep watching them.
Notably, the five-year term of the fourth Jharkhand Assembly having 81 seats ends on January 5, 2020. In 2014 Assembly polls, BJP had won 37 seats. Later, six JVM MLAs had quit and joined BJP.
Against this backdrop, this ruling party under the CM Das set a record. He managed to rule Jharkhand for the full term with just 11 -Cabinet Ministers even though he was legally empowered to have 12-Cabinet Ministers.