Among the three seats here, two have Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs and the party is leaving no stone unturned to retain them. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren, who is the elected representative from the prestigious Dumka constituency, faces an uphill task this time around to retain his seat.

On one hand, another Jharkhand’s political big gun Babulal Marandi is challenging Soren here in the Lok Sabha elections while several JMM and Congress leaders are also making life difficult for the former chief minister.

Soren, who is contesting the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the Congress, suffered a major jolt when Jharkhand’s former deputy chief minister and a very senior leader Stephen Marandi left JMM to join Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM). Stephen is now backing Marandi.

In Rajmahal Lok Sabha constituency, the JMM’s decision to welcome former Congress state present Thomas Hansda’s son Vijay Hansda into its fold did not go well with many senior leaders, particularly Hemlal Murmu who expressed his displeasure in the open.

In fact, Murmu, who left JMM to join BJP in protest, is now giving a stern competition to the party candidate here.

Another senior JMM leader Simon Marandi has also spiced up the political equations here, as he has already started plotting an internal mutiny in the party.

It is apparent that Simon Marandi’s disenchantment with the party will be detrimental for their electoral prospects in the general elections.

However, the biggest challenge for JMM in Jharkhand is its souring relations with the UPA.

Moreover, Vijay Hansda’s entry into the JMM fold has created fissures in the UPA in Jharkhand, which does not bode well for the alliance here.

The scale of impending dangers for JMM in the Santhal Pargana region is so high that Chief Minister Hemant Soren is putting all his efforts here, while his father Shibu Soren is holding nonstop camps in his Dumka constituency.

The Godda Lok Sabha constituency is in BJP’s hand right now and the saffron party faces a major contest from Congress’ Furqan Ansari here in the general elections. JVM’s second in command Pradeep Yadav is also in the poll fray here.

Since Jharkhand shares its borders with Bihar, the political developments in Nitish Kumar-led state also have a considerable impact on the politics of this tribal state. 
JMM’s support has come as a major reprieve for the Congress in Jharkhand. However, the presence of Janata Dal (United) and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) is making the contest multi-cornered here.

(JPN/Bureau)

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