Chakradharpur Assembly Elections 2019 | A reserved seat for the Scheduled Tribes, the Assembly constituency of Chakradharpur is a town in the West Singhbhum district. The Assembly constituency, located in the mineral-rich Singhbhum belt around 90 kilometres from Jamshedpur, is likely to throw up an interesting contest as the BJP is trying to make inroads in the district through the semi-urban Chakradhar seat. The city is also the district headquarters of the West Singhbhum district.
BJP state president Laxman Gilua, who was adamant in amending the Chotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Act despite opposition from the state tribal leaders, lost the Singhbhum Lok Sabha seat in the 2019 election. He has also been a vocal supporter of state high-handedness in handling the Pathalgadi issue.
He is now trying to enter the Jharkhand state Assembly through the Chakradharpur constituency, which is also incidentally a seat reserved for tribals. Sukhram Oraon of the JMM, who was given ticket bypassing the sitting MLA Shashi Bhushan Samad, is giving a tough contest to Gilua.
The constituency of Chakradharpur is one of the 20 Assembly constituencies that will vote in the second phase of the Jharkhand Assembly Election on 7 December.
Results in the last three elections
The constituency first elected JMM candidate Sukhram Oraon with a huge margin in 2005 after the state was bifurcated from Bihar. However, Oraon lost the 2009 Assembly elections with a slim margin of 290 votes to BJP's Gilua.
In 2014, Gilua moved to the Lok Sabha, benefitting from the Modi wave, whereas the BJP fielded ex-JMM MP Navami Oraon in his stead. Navami lost out to JMM's Shashi Bhushan Samad by a margin of more than 26,000 votes.
This time around, reports say Gilua is on a sticky wicket as besides facing tribals' ire, the state BJP chief also faces unhappy ground cadre and local RSS functionaries.
"Chakradharpur has been the hub of RSS activities since the time of Rudra Pratap Singh (amongst the founder figures of the BJP in Bihar-Jharkhand) and their role has been crucial in the fortunes of BJP candidates including Gilua. However, this time the RSS camp is not happy with the autocratic style of functioning of Gilua and is maintaining a distance. We cannot discount the anti-incumbency factor against Gilua as he was the Singhbhum MP (till May 2019). However, the BJP cadre vote of over 20,000 will keep him in contention," a senior BJP district-level leader told The Telegraph.
Another twist in the poll saga is introduced by the entry of AJSU candidate Ramlal Munda, 39, who had unsuccessfully contested as an Independent in 2014 but ever since has been tirelessly working in the region to build a pro-people image. He may as well emerge as a dark horse.
Demography: The Chakradharpur Block of West Singhbhum district has a total population of 1,97,953 as per the Census 2011. Out of which 99,085 are males while 98,868 are females. The town has a relatively better sex ratio (998) as compared to rest of the state, and this is mainly due to the high sex ratio in the rural areas (1016 as against a sex ratio of 958 in urban areas) of this seat.
As per Census 2011, out of the total population, 28.6 percent people live in urban areas while the majority (71.4 percent) live in the rural areas. The average literacy rate in urban areas is 85.8 percent while that in the rural areas is 59.4 percent. Schedule Caste (SC) constitutes 6.2 percent while Schedule Tribe (ST) were 48.9 percent of the total population in Chakradharpur.
Following is a brief description of the Assembly constituency:
Constituency number: 56
Total electors: 1,81,446
Male voters: 90,680
Female voters: 90,763
Third gender voters: 3
Literacy rate: 67.29 percent
Polling stations: 209
Major parties in the fray: The NCP , RJD , BSP, BJP, JMM, and Congress are the major parties active in this constituency.
Among the Opposition parties, the RJD, Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) have formed an alliance for the polls under the leadership of JMM chief Hemant Soren. Soren is also the Opposition Alliance's chief ministerial candidate.
The BJP is hoping to retain power in Jharkhand following setbacks and winning fewer seats in both the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly election as compared to the 2014 polls in the two states. However, several of the NDA allies, including BJP's current Jharkhand alliance partner AJSU, have decided to contest the 2019 Assembly polls on their own. Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) are also contesting the polls solo.
Out of the 81 Assembly constituencies in the state, nine are reserved for Scheduled Castes, 28 for Scheduled Tribes and 44 are of the general category. According to the Election Commission, the state's population stands at 3.2 crore, of which 86 lakh are ST and 39 lakh are ST.
The state has a total number of 2,08,52,808 electors, including Service Voters. As per the electoral rolls in January 2019, there are 1.18 crore male voters, 1.08 crore female voters and 40,336 Service Voters.
The number of polling stations in 2014 was 24,803.
After Maharashtra and Haryana, Jharkhand is the third state to go to polls since Prime Minister Narendra Modi won the Lok Sabha election with a thumping majority in May this year.
The 81-member Jharkhand Assembly is being held in five phases between 30 November and 20 December with the counting of votes scheduled to take place on 23 December. The first phase of polling concluded in 13 seats in on 30 November.
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Updated Date: Dec 23, 2019 08:01:54 IST