Tough tussle between BJP, JMM for Jamshedpur Lok Sabha turf

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Jamshedpur: With the seat distribution of the Grand Alliance of the Opposition having been agreed upon, JMM has pocketed the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha constituency seat with Jharkhand revolutionary and one of the tallest party stalwarts Astik Mahto ahead in the race for this ticket to Delhi.

However, Astik will come up against another revolutionary in the battle for a separate Jharkhand State, current parliamentarian from the Jamshedpur constituency Bidyut Baran Mahto as a result of which, political analysts believe, the scale is dipping in favor of the saffron party.

Astik Mahto is a frontrunner in the JMM camp for the Jamshedpur seat although one gathers that Suman Mahto, the party MP who won the 2007 parliamentary elections from Jamshedpur constituency in 2007 (and also the last party candidate to win this seat since then) is trying hard for a party ticket. So, it might be Suman or Astik as the latter’s claim is very strong.

It may be mentioned here that after the 1984 elections from the Jamshedpur seat in which labor leader Gopeshwar won, Congress has never again tasted victory. Perhaps that is why Congress leaders are not showing any interest for this constituency.

In fact, no individual party has ever prevailed on this seat. The turf battle has always been between the BJP and JMM. Sometimes the voters returned a JMM candidate to the Lok Sabha and sometimes another from the BJP. It has been observed that whenever the voting percentage in the urban areas increased, BJP claimed the cake and if the voters’ percentage climbed in the rural scenario, the JMM gained the golden bowl. Thus it may be concluded that while the BJP enjoys the urban base, JMM has the pulse of the rural belt.

The Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat has sent BJP candidates to Parliament on five occasions while JMM has won four times from the coveted seat. The Mahto votes have swayed the wind in JMM’s favor. In fact, a Mahto candidate has won from this constituency during all the LS poll battles. Shailendra Mahto won from the Jamshedpur seat in 1989 and 1991.

Then again, in 2004, Sunil Mahto won the election while the next time around that is in 2007 Suman Mahto defeated her nearest candidate by a big margin. But that was the last occasion till now, that JMM had tasted the last parliamentary success. The party’s victory march was ultimately stopped by BJP candidate Arjun Munda in the 2009 encounter at the Jamshedpur LS turf. That signaled the end of JMM reign.

Jamshedpur LS seat winners thus far

The winners of the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat contest have been Kumar Ghosh of Congress (1957), Udaykar Mishra of the CPI (1962), SC Prasad of the Congress (1967), Sardar Swarn Singh of the Congress (1971), Rudra Pratap Shadangi of Bharatiya Lok Dal (1977), Rudra Pratap Shadangi of Janata Party (1980), Gopeshwar of Congress (1984), Shailendra Mahto of JMM (1989), Shailendra Mahto of JMM (1991), Nitish Bharadwaj of BJP (1996), Abha Mahto of BJP (1999), Sunil Mahto of JMM (2004), Suman Mahto of JMM (2007), Arjun Munda of BJP (2009), Dr Ajoy Kumar of JVM (2011) and Bidyut Baran Mahto of BJP (2014).

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