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Jharkhand Assembly election results live | Counting begins

The exit polls indicate edge to JMM and Congress alliance. BJP, however, is confident of returning to power.

The counting for the 2019 Jharkhand assembly election results began amidst tight security at 8 a.m. across 24 districts of Jharkhand on Monday morning.

The counting will start at 8 a.m. in all the 24 district headquarters. The maximum rounds of counting will take place at Chatra with 28 rounds and lowest round at two seats — Chandankyari and Torpa.

The Election Commission has made arrangements for counting at all the districts headquarters. The first result is expected around 1 p.m.

Here are the updates:

As many as 22 political parties are in the fray for 81 seats in Jharkhand. However, the main contenders are the ruling BJP and the JMM-led alliance that includes Congress and RJD.

Initial trends in 38 out of 81 seats show BJP, JMM alliance going neck-to-neck with lead in 15 and 14 seats respectively, reports Satyasundar Barik.

This is based on postal votes. The counting of EVMs are yet to start.

Counting begins. Postal ballots are being counted.

Counting began at 8 am in all the district headquarters, the officials said.

Postal ballots will be taken up first and votes polled in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) will begin at 8.30 am, they said.

Polling officials waiting to enter the counting centre at Agriculture Produce Market Committee Campus, Pandra in Ranchi on Monday.  
| Photo Credit: Satyasundar Barik

In the outgoing assembly, BJP has 37 members. Later, six from JVM joined the saffron party taking the tally to 43, JMM (19), JVM (8 – reduced to two after six switching side to BJP), Congress (6 and two won in bye-elections) and All Jharkhand Students’ Union (5).

Ruling BJP keeping its fingers crossed

Stakes are high for BJP in Jharkhand especially after Maharashtra setback, where the party could not form the government. The party had launched the campaign with a tag line ‘Abki bar, 65 par’ aspiring to win 65 seats. But, going by exit polls results the target looks improbable. The BJP had won 37 seats in the outgoing assembly.

The incumbent Chief Minister Raghubar Das, who is the first Chief Minister to complete five year term, is keeping his fingers crossed for his own win from Jamshedpur (east) as well as party’s victory in the State. It is believed that his former cabinet colleague Saryu Rai and Congress candidate Gourav Vallabh have given a tough fight to him in the seat.

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Exit polls predict tight finish in Jharkhand

Exit polls predicted a close fight in Jharkhand, where the fifth and final phase of polling in 16 Assembly constituencies passed off peacefully on Friday.

All exit polls predicted that the BJP and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress alliance were locked in a neck-to-neck fight while India Today-Axis My India survey gave a clear majority to the JMM-Congress alliance.

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Important Assembly seats

Both the BJP and the Congress alliance made their best efforts to lure the voters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed nine rallies each.

While former Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed five rallies and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addressed one rally.

The hot seat, which will be the centre of attraction on the counting day will be Jamshedpur East. Chief Minister Raghubar Das has been winning this seat since 1995. He is pitted against ex-Cabinet colleague Saryu Rai. Mr. Saryu Rai turned rebellion after his ticket was put on hold by the party.

The other important seats are Dumka and Barhet from where JMM Executive President and former Chief Minister is contesting. He is pitted against Social Welfare Minister Louis Marandi at Dumka.

Former Chief Minister and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajantarik (JVM-P) president Babulal Marandi is fighting from Dhanwar Assembly seat. The AJSU President, who lost the 2014 Assembly poll, is trying his luck again from Silli seat.

The exit polls indicate edge to JMM and Congress alliance.

BJP, however, is confident of returning to power.

“We will cross the majority mark. Wait till counting. People has reposed faith in five years governance” said Deepak Prakash, BJP general secretary to IANS.

JMM is anticipating the grand alliance’s victory.

“The grand alliance will certainly get majority. People are fed up with BJP government” said Vinod Pandey, JMM general secretary.

Santhal Pargana holds the key to Jharkhand poll outcome

With the intensely-fought Jharkhand Assembly elections drawing to a close, Santhal Pargana, a traditional stronghold of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, holds the key to the poll outcome.

Sixteen of the 18 constituencies in six districts such as Deoghar, Godda, Sahebganj, Pakur, Dumka and Jamtara, bracketed as Santhal Pargana, will vote in the last phase on December 20.

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(With inputs from Agencies)

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