झारखंड में जनजातीय सीटों पर करीबी त्रिकोणीय मुकाबला देखने को मिल रहा है

झारखंड में जनजातीय सीटों पर करीबी त्रिकोणीय मुकाबला देखने को मिल रहा है

Tribal seats in Jharkhand going to polls to witness close triangular contest

Fierce electoral battle in Jharkhand's SC reserve Lok Sabha seats as BJP and Congress vie for tribal support; identity politics and internal rifts add complexity.

  • National News
  • 40
  • 11, May, 2024
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Sampda Gupta
  • @SampdaGupta

Tribal seats in Jharkhand going to polls to witness close triangular contest

Khunti/Singhbhum/Lohardaga: The electoral battleground in Jharkhand's scheduled caste reserve Lok Sabha constituencies – Khunti, Singhbhum, and Lohardaga – is heating up as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the INDIA bloc engage in a tough contest. Independents, too, are injecting complexity into the electoral landscape. The BJP secured victories in Khunti and Lohardaga in 2019, while Singhbhum was claimed by Congress. Despite the BJP's dominance in 11 constituencies in the state during the 2019 elections, the victory margins in tribal reserved seats were notably narrow, with Khunti and Lohardaga won by slim margins of 1,445 and 10,363 votes, respectively. Congress defeated the BJP by 72,155 votes in Singhbhum. In Khunti, tribal minister Arjun Munda, who won from the constituency in the past, is facing a challenging contest. Expectations were high for Munda, but his performance, according to some constituents, has fallen short. The electoral dynamics are influenced by tribal and non-tribal vote banks, with Congress candidate Kalicharan Munda banking on tribal votes while Munda relies on non-tribal support, especially from the Kurmi community.

The Khunti constituency, comprising six assembly segments, traditionally leans towards Congress in tribal-dominated areas. However, the emergence of independent candidates like Babita Kachhap, associated with the Pathalgadi movement, adds a new dimension to the race. In Singhbhum, the political landscape sees a significant shift with Geeta Kora, the sitting Congress MP, switching to the BJP. This move intensifies the contest against Joba Majhi of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), challenging the dominance of the Kora family in the Ho tribal community, which forms a substantial part of the electorate. The dynamics of identity politics, particularly the Ho versus Santhal narrative, play a crucial role in Singhbhum's electoral calculus. The attack on Geeta Kora during campaigning adds to the tension, highlighting the underlying rivalry between different tribal sub-groups.

In Lohardaga, the electoral battle takes a triangular shape with the entry of JMM's Chamra Linda, a three-term legislator. His candidacy complicates the race, with the BJP fielding Samir Oraon against Congress' Sukhdeo Bhagat. Linda's focus on issues like the Sarna Code and his track record in garnering votes from the tribal community make him a significant contender. Internal rifts within the Congress further add to the complexity, as leaders like Rameshwar Oraon and Shilpi Neha Tirkey withhold support from the party's candidate. This internal discord underscores the challenges faced by Congress in consolidating its position in Lohardaga. As the election date approaches, the contest in Jharkhand's SC reserve Lok Sabha seats remains fiercely contested, with each candidate vying for support across tribal and non-tribal demographics, making alliances and political strategies crucial for success.

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Sampda Gupta

  • @SampdaGupta