Theweekendleader

Jharkhand voters unswayed by CAA-NRC

BY NARENDRA PUPPALA   |  New Delhi

24-December-2019

The results of the Jharkhand elections show that while the country was witnessing grim protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the issue had virtually no impact on voting preferences in the state.

While the anti-CAA and anti-National Register of Citizens (NRC) sentiments flared up in Delhi and other parts of the country, Jharkhand was preparing for the fourth and fifth phases of voting. Campaigning had seen politicians arguing over the controversial issue. Home Minister Amit Shah raised the issues of the CAA and NRC while campaigning in the state.

A total of 31 seats went to polls in the last two phases on December 16 and 20, respectively. Many in the anti-CAA lobby had predicted that the people of Jharkhand would vote against the BJP to protest the CAA.

However, when assembly election votes were counted on Monday, the outcome in terms of seats won and lost by the BJP indicate that although the party lost power, it did not fare too badly from the negative publicity on the issues.

Of the 15 assembly constituencies that voted in the fourth phase held on December 16, the JMM-led alliance won six seats, the BJP won eight seats, and one seat went to CPI-MLL. As compared to the 2014 assembly election results, the BJP had won 11 seats of which it managed to retained six, win two new seats, and lost five seats. The BJP suffered an overall loss of three seats in this phase.

The fifth and final phase held on December 20 saw polls in 16 assembly constituencies. In this phase, the JMM alliance won 11 seats and the BJP retained its overall number of five seats from the previous elections. In this phase, the BJP retained two seats, won three new seats and lost two seats.

The results point to the Assembly voters penchant for local issues unlike Lok Sabha elections which are fought on national issues.IANS