Jharkhand Assembly Polls 2009 commences today with 26 constituencies going to polls. 6.5 million voters will decide the fate of over 470 candidates in the fray. Ranchi, Jharkhand’s capital city, goes to polls today.
Jharkhand has had 6 Chief Ministers in its small 9-year span as a separate state. The situation can easily be termed as a result of opportunist leaders and ignorant voters. More than 54% of voters in the state are below poverty line and as such, are prone to getting swayed easily. Political leaders have made mockery of poll verdicts more often than not, breaking from one party and joining other, all for the sole purpose of getting plum Ministerial berths. A case in point is the recent Madhu Koda scam, who despite being just an Independent MLA, was elevated to the post of Chief Minister by Congress support, and eventually ended in scams worth over 6000 crore.
Amazingly, over 108 candidates of the total 470 contesting today, have criminal records. JMM has 19 of its 25 candidates with tainted records, Congress is fielding 11, while BJP 9. 27 candidates have declared their assets to be more than 1 crore. Only 19 women candidates are in the fray for the first phase of polls in Jharkhand.
Jharkhand is expected to see a three corner fight between BJP-JD(U), Congress-JVM, and JMM. BJP_JD have not declared their Chief Ministerial candidate yet, but it could be from former chief minister Arjun Munda, or former finance minister Yashwant Sinha or state BJP president Raghubar Das. Congress-JVM is projecting Babulal Marandi for the CM’s post, while JMM is as usual going with Shibu Soren.
More details on Jharkhand Phase One Polls can be found here.