23/12/2019 8:36 AM IST | Updated 23/12/2019 6:12 PM IST

Jharkhand Assembly Elections 2019: JMM's Hemant Soren Says 'New Chapter For State'

The Congress-JMM-RJD alliance is leading in 45 seats with BJP ahead in 26.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
JMM leader Hemant Soren in a file photo.  

As counting for the Jharkhand Assembly Elections 2019 continues, trends indicate that the Congress-Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance is set to form the next government.

According to the Election Commission’s website, the alliance is leading in 45 seats (Congress-15, JMM-29 and RJD-1), well ahead of the halfway mark of 41 seats in the 81-member assembly.

The incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leading in 26 seats.

Addressing a press conference, former chief minister and JMM chief Hemant Soren said the people of Jharkhand have given a clear majority to the JMM, Congress and RJD combine. “Today a new chapter will begin for this state,” he added.

He also said that all alliance partners will meet to “strategise the future course of action”, according to PTI.

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According to the party-wise vote share trends, the BJP’s vote share is much ahead of other parties at 33.62%.

In the Jamshedpur (East) seat, incumbent chief minister Raghubar Das is trailing behind independent candidate Saryu Roy, who had resigned from the BJP earlier this month. Roy is ahead of Das by 10,587 votes.

Soren is currently leading from both Dumka and Barhait. In Dumka, his lead over BJP’s Lois Marandi is less than 1,000 votes.

ANI quoted RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav as saying that Soren would be the chief minister of the state if the alliance comes to power.

Counting began at 8 am on Monday amid tight security for the elections, which were held in five phases between 30 November and 20 December. 

Two of four exit polls had predicted that the Congress-JMM-RJD alliance was likely to leave BJP behind, though many pollsters had also anticipated a hung assembly.

PTI had reported earlier that of the 5,389 polling stations in the state, 396 in Naxal-affected areas have been marked “critical” and 208 as “sensitive”.

The Election Commission has set up 8,987 ballot units, 6,738 control units and 7,006 VVPAT machines.

BJP candidate and Jharkhand Agriculture Minister Randhir Singh is seeking re-election from Sarath constituency, while another saffron party nominee and Women and Child Development Minister Louis Marandi is pitted against JMM working president Soren in Dumka.

Marandi had defeated Soren in the 2014 assembly elections.

The JMM leader is also contesting the polls from Barhait seat. His sister-in-law Sita Soren is seeking re- election from Jama seat.

Among other prominent leaders, former deputy chief minister and sitting JMM MLA Stephen Marandi is seeking re-election from Maheshpur and JD(U)’s Jharkhand unit chief and ex-MP Salkhan Murmu is contesting the polls from Sikaripara.

(With PTI inputs)