Election Commission of India. (File Photo: IANS)
The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday issued notification for the first phase of Assembly elections in Jharkhand on November 30. In the first phase, polling will take place in 13 Assembly seats — Chatra, Gumla, Vishunpur, Lohardagga, Manika, Latehar, Panki, Daltanganj, Vishrampur, Chatarpur, Harwah, Hussainabad and Bhavanathpur.
The last date for filing of nomination papers is November 13 and for withdrawing nominations is November 16.
So far, no political party has announced candidates for the first phase of polling.
Earlier, on November 1 Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced that Jharkhand will go to polls in five phases starting November 30. The other phases of polling will be held on December 7, 12, 16 and 20. Counting of votes polled for the 81-member Assembly will be held on December 23.
The 81-member assembly is currently ruled by Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) with Raghubar Das as its Chief Minister. Last year in December, Raghubar Das became the first Chief Minister in the state to complete four years in the office. On the occasion, he also released the report of his government’s work in the state.
In the last Assembly Elections in 2014, BJP won 35 seats out of total 81 seats and its ally, the AJSU won 17. The Congress was reduced to six seats only.
The Congress and the JMM are fighting this election as allies and the seat sharing formula is worked on.
According to IANS, the JMM will be the majority partner and is likely to contest 44 seats. The Congress will get 27 and the rest will go to smaller allies, which include the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Left parties.
Raghubar Das led BJP is hoping to come back to the power in the state.
In the last Jharkhand Assembly elections held in 2014, BJP won 37 seats and formed the government with its ally All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) who won five seats. The combined tally was enough to cross the majority mark of 41 seats in the Assembly.
ECI has recently successfully contested the elections in Haryana and Maharashtra. In Haryana BJP formed government with support from JJP while in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance got the majority but the government is still not formed in the state due to tussle in between the two parties.