All former Jharkhand CMs had lost the battle of VS hustings, Raghubar joins the band

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Jamshedpur, Dec. 23: Ever since the carving out of Jharkhand state from Bihar in the year 2000, all the Chief Ministers have faced defeats at the battle of the Assembly hustings. The list of such vanquished but tall leaders include powerful personalities of the stature of JMM supremo Shibu Soren, Babulal Marandi, Arjun Munda, Madhu Koda and Hemant Soren. And now it is Raghubar Das. However, this does not symbolize the sinking of the last straw in the political sea but far from it, as they are still very much active and leading their parties from the front as guiding spirits. But, as in other competitive fields, Lady Luck has had her say on the political roulette table as the 2019 Assembly polls wiped off the BJP cards from the Kolhan table.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) supremo Shibu Soren had to resign from the Chief Minister’s chair when in January 2009, he contested the Tamar by-polls as a party candidate and was beaten fair and square by Jharkhand Party candidate Raja Peter by a margin of 8,973 votes. While the politically weather-beaten Shibu Soren could muster 25,154 votes, his rival Raja Peter garnered 34,127 ‘ayes.’

Babulal Marandi, the first Chief Minister of the then newborn Jharkhand, contested the Vidhan Sabha elections of 2014 from Giridih and Dhanwar as the powerful face of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM). He was up against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Nirbhay Shahabadi at Giridih who defeated the veteran by a whopping 30,980 votes. The same fate awaited Marandi at Dhanbar Assembly constituency. Rajkumar Yadav of CPI (ML) pipped him to the post by a margin of 10,712 votes. But this time around, he played the better cards and stamped the JVM symbol on the Dhanwar constituency seat.

Senior BJP leader Arjun Munda who had helmed the state as Chief Minister thrice, crashed against the JMM wall at the Kharsawan meet against JMM candidate Dashrath Gagrai in the 2014 Vidhan Sabha encounter. Gagrai pocketed 72,002 votes while Munda’s count totaled 60,036 which was 11,966 short of the rival’s touch point.

 The same side of the coin befell former Chief Minister Madhu Koda in the VS polls of 2014. He met his nemesis in JMM candidate Niral Purty at the battleground of Majhgaon in Chaibasa where he fell short by 11,710 votes. Koda who fought as the Jai Bharat Samanta Party candidate accounted for 34,017 votes while his JMM rival Niral Purty bagged all of 45,727 tick marks.

This election scenario (2014 VS elections) was repeated when former Chief Minister and executive JMM president Hemant Soren contested from Dumka and Barhet constituencies. Though he lost from the Dumka constituency to BJP candidate Dr Louis Marandi by 5,262 votes with Dr Marandi getting 70, 467 votes Hemant Soren got 5,262 less while getting 65,105 positives in his kitty; but he did get the green signal at the Barhet seat. But the 2019 story was different as the dice rolled in Hemant’s favor and he won on both seats further unfurling the arrow symbol that could shoot him to the Chief Minister’s chair for a second go at state construction and development.

This was a reflection of the political merry-go-round in the last Vidhan Sabha fairgrounds where heavy weights had to bow to comparatively middle or light weight contenders only to deflate the dreams of party camps and supporters. But the wheels of fortunes on such forums turn before one can blink and VS Round – 2019 was not different either. All anticipations, bated breaths, permutations and combinations and of course the observations of the ‘experts’ were packed and stowed away in the backburners as the Jamshedpur East Assembly seat saw the emergence of former BJP and now Independent Saryu Roy as a giant killer who confiscated the dreams of BJP candidate Raghubar Das for a record sixth run as the BJP legislator and second term office as the Chief Minister of Jharkhand.

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