After cliffhanger, UPA edges ahead in Jharkhand

The tight contest in Jharkhand has seen the JMM-Congress-RJD alliance race past the simple majority mark of 41 in the house, which will solidify the sense of relief in opposition ranks after the decimation in the Lok Sabha polls. The winning margin will allow the alliance to stake claim to form government and Jharkhand governor Draupadi Murmu must invite-only the formation she thinks will be in a position to form a stable government.

BJP appears to be paying dearly for the discontent among Adivasis which had manifested after the Raghubar Das government attempted to push through amendments to the Chotanagpur and Santhal Pargana tenancy laws to make land acquisition easier. Nevertheless, voters appear to have made a distinction between BJP governments at the Centre and state having sent 12 NDA MPs to the Lok Sabha from the state’s kitty of 14 seats.

Anti-incumbency in states is the challenge facing BJP. Last year it was ousted in three north Indian states and Jharkhand has followed that trend. In the upcoming elections in Delhi, the incumbent is BJP’s sworn rival, AAP, and BJP has an opportunity to tap into anti-incumbency. It will also help bust the opposition’s refrain that the Modi government has already squandered its hard-earned mandate from seven months ago.

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