Congress President Rahul Gandhi and JMM Working President Hemant Soren met and finalised the alliance between the two parties in Jharkhand. 

Congress, JMM Seal Alliance In Jharkhand: UPA Could Rout NDA 12-2

The Congress has sealed its alliance with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and Rashtriya Janata Dal.

The decision was announced by Congress’ in-charge for Jharkhand RPN Singh on Thursday, 7 February. He tweeted a picture of Congress President Rahul Gandhi with former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren of the JMM, Jharkhand Pradesh Congress president Ajoy Kumar, and himself.

Rahul Gandhi also wrote on his Facebook page that the Congress and JMM are “united in the fight to save democracy”.

According to a Congress source, the deal was finalised at a meeting at Rahul Gandhi’s 12 Tughlak Road residence. Congress general secretaries Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and KC Venugopal are also said to have been present at the meeting besides the Rahul Gandhi, Hemant Soren, RPN Singh and Ajoy Kumar.

Babulal Marandi’s JVM-P and the RJD are already said to be on board, though there were some differences regarding the allocation of one or two seats.

According to a Congress source, the seat sharing arrangement for the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand is:

  • Congress: 7
  • JMM: 4
  • JVM-P: 2
  • RJD: 1

The source revealed that the Congress will contest more seats at the Lok Sabha level while the JMM will contest a greater share in the Assembly elections due later this year.

Formidable Alliance

The alliance is a formidable one and has a clear advantage in terms of arithmetic over the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-All Jharkhand Students’ Union alliance.

According to the C-Voter survey conducted in January, the Congress-JMM-RJD alliance could win eight out of 14 seats in Jharkhand, the BJP four and JVM-P one. The poll did not consider the JVM-P as part of the alliance. Now that Babulal Marandi’s party has also joined the alliance, the tally is likely to increase.

If we combine the vote share of the Congress, JMM, RJD and JVM-P as predicted by the C-Voter survey, it adds up to a whopping 56.6 percent, 14.7 percent ahead of the BJP at 41.9 percent.

This could potentially lead to a washout for the BJP. Here’s how.

In the 2014 Assembly elections, the combined vote share of these four parties was 6.2 percent more than that of the BJP and AJSU. Each Lok Sabha seat has five or six Assembly segments in Jharkhand. If we combine the vote secured by the two NDA constituents and four UPA constituents in every segment in each of the 14 Lok Sabha seats, the UPA was ahead in 11 seats and NDA in three.

As the lead is 14.7 percent according to the vote share predictions given in the C-Voter survey, this is only likely to worsen for the BJP.

Let’s take a look at the three Lok Sabha seats the NDA was ahead in the Assembly elections.

In two Lok Sabha seats – Ranchi and Dhanbad – NDA’s vote share lead over the UPA constituents was 6-8 percent. In Khunti, it was less than two percent.

Therefore at the very least, the BJP could lose Khunti as well, making the tally 12-2 in favour of the UPA.

A 12-2 tally in favour of the UPA is a complete reversal of the 2014 elections in which NDA won 12 and UPA 2. A minor swing in favour of UPA from this point on, could lead to a complete washout.