Jharia Assembly Elections 2019 | Infamous for political violence and gun culture, the Jharia Assembly seat in Jharkhand saw a tight contest between the wives of two brothers whose political rivalry recently resulted into the death of one and the other currently being tried for his murder.
Contesting on a Congress ticket, Purnima Singh won the election by a margin of 12,054 votes. She defeated her sister-in-law Ragini Singh who was fielded from the seat by the BJP. Ragini is the wife of incumbent MLA Sanjeev Singh, who is currently being tried for killing his political rival and cousin Niraj Singh. Purnima Singh is Niraj's widow.
Jharia, one of the six Assembly constituents of the Dhanbad Lok Sabha seat, will go to polls on 16 December in phase four of the Jharkhand Assembly Election 2019.
Traditionally a saffron bastion, BJP has won the last three elections from the Assembly seat. In 2014, contesting on a BJP ticket Sanjeev defeated Congress candidate Niraj by a margin of over 30,000 seats. In 2009, Sanjeev's mother Kunti Devi won the seat contesting on a BJP ticket. She defeated Congress candidate Suresh Singh by a margin of nearly three thousand votes. Kunti had won the seat in 2005 election as well, where she had defeated Suresh by a margin of over 31,500 votes.
The Singh family's political hold in Jharia goes back to the 1970s. According to India Today, mafia-turned-politician Surya Deo Singh, the guardian of the Sigh family, ruled the roost in Jharia till his death. He was an MLA from 1977 to 1991.
Jharia has one of the richest coal mines in the country with the largest deposit of good quality of coking coal. It has a population of 4,75,341 with 81,450 SCs and 14,188 STs. There are 58 villages in Jharkhand block.
Following is a brief description of the Assembly constituency (as of 2014):
Constituency number: 39
Total electors: 2,94,847
Voter turnout in last Assembly Election: 68.2 percent
Major parties in the fray
The BJP, JD(U), JMM, JVM, CPI, SP, BSP and Marxist Co-ordination are the main parties from the seat.
At present, Jharkhand is ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in an alliance with the All Jharkhand Students' Union (AJSU) under the leadership of Chief Minister Raghubar Das.
The term of the current Assembly will end on 5 January 2020.
In 2014, the BJP had won 37 seats, while its ally AJSU secured a win in five Assembly seats.
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 were 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 82-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.
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Updated Date: Dec 24, 2019 17:08:55 IST