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BJP leader and Union Minister Arjun Munda is likely to face defeat in the Khunti ( Schedule Tribe Reserve) constituency. 

This prediction is based on the opinions of a select group of people, YouTubers, and print media reports and not on the basis of any Exit poll.

Arjun Munda had won the Khunti seat, narrowly beating his nearest Congress rival Kalicharan Munda by 1445 votes in 2019. 

This time, Kalicharan Munda is likely to defeat Arjun Munda by a larger margin, claims two YouTubers who were authenticated by three local print media reporters. In Jharkhand with a total of 14 LS seats, the NDA is expected to win nine seats and the INDIA bloc five seats per the exit poll, conducted by India Today-Axis My India pollster. 

This translates into a loss of three seats for the NDA, as per India Today-Axis My India pollster. As per the same pollster, the NDA is expected to bag a 50 percent vote share (-6 percent), while the INDIA bloc is expected to bag a 41 percent vote share (+9 percent). 

This is largely due to the Adivasi-Muslim axis planned and executed by ex-CM Hemant Soren and also due to sympathy after his arrest, anti-incumbency against some sitting MPs of the BJP, and the consolidation of Scheduled Tribe votes (26 percent) in favour of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress alliance (INDIA bloc). 

 In the 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls, the BJP had lost a significant vote share of 23 percent as the contest became local and the party suffered anti-incumbency and misconduct of ex-CM Raghubar Das and his government. Ally All Jharkhand Students Union has contested the LS polls this time as BJP’s ally. 

In 2019, AJSU had separately contested and bagged an eight percent vote share. Even adjusting for this, the NDA lost 15 percent vote share in the state. Before Soren’s arrest, the BJP was hopeful of making a comeback in the state, exploiting the natural anti-incumbency and alleged corruption scams. 

However, arresting Soren may have made him a ‘martyr’, at least in the eyes of his tribal community members. His arrest is being linked by JMM as an attack on Adivasi Asmita( tribal identity). 

The improvement in vote share of the INDIA bloc in 2024 portends a tough contest in the Vidhan Sabha polls due late 2024.

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