The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) alliance, on December 23, stormed to power in Jharkhand following the counting of votes for the 2019 Assembly election. The alliance dislodging the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dispensation from power.
The three parties together won 47 seats in the 81-member House. Former chief minister Hemant Soren’s JMM became the single-largest party by clinching 30 seats. Congress and the RJD won 16 and one seat, respectively.
Being led by Raghubar Das, the only Jharkhand chief minister to complete a tenure in office, BJP won 25 seats.
During the polls, Moneycontrol had published a list of 10 such bellwether seats that existed in Jharkhand.
These are constituencies that have always voted for the party or an alliance that eventually formed the government in the state.
While there is no scientific basis to this, bellwether seats usually act as a marker for the final results.
On December 23, nine out of these 10 seats maintained their track record by electing a candidate from either JMM or Congress, who are set to form the government.
Here’s the list of Jharkhand’s bellwether seats and how they voted:
Dumka (Dumka): JMM
Tundi (Dhanbad): JMM
Ghatsila (East Singhbhum): JMM
Potka (East Singhbhum): JMM
Jugsalai (East Singhbhum): JMM
Gumla (Gumla): JMM
Simdega (Simdega): Congress
Lohardaga (Lohardaga): Congress
Manika (Latehar): Congress
Rajmahal in Sahebganj district, has now ceased to be a bellwether seat having opted for the BJP candidate.
Note on methodology: Das is the only chief minister in Jharkhand’s history to have completed a tenure in office. This means that governments in the state changed frequently even as the Assembly polls were held only every five years.
Two or more governments have been sworn in within one Legislative Assembly tenure on more than one occasion.
For example, three governments were in office during the third Legislative Assembly (2009-2014). First, it was JMM leader Shibu Soren’s government that lasted under six months. This was followed by President’s Rule and a BJP government led by Arjun Munda. This government lasted under two and a half years. Finally, after another segment of President’s Rule Soren’s son Hemant formed a government that lasted till the end of the Assembly’s tenure concluded.
Hence, the analysis takes into consideration the first government formed after every Assembly election held in the state. It does not consider any government formed subsequently.
The majority mark in Jharkhand’s 81-member Assembly is 41. No party has been able to reach that figure on its own. Having fallen short, parties have formed governments with the support of parties that were not part of their pre-poll alliance. These post-poll alliances have also been considered in this analysis.
The winning side in 2014 was the BJP-All Jharkhand Student's Union (AJSU) pre-poll alliance. In 2009, JMM had formed the government with the support of BJP and AJSU. In 2005, JMM had formed the government with pre-poll partner Congress and post-poll support of RJD, Dumka’s Independent Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Stephen Marandi, among others.
As Jharkhand has had only three Assembly polls after being carved out of Bihar, these nine constituencies have now voted for a party that formed the government first.(Data source: Election Commission of India and news reports)