Trends Suggest Hung Assembly in Jharkhand; NDA Leading in 23, Cong 22

The trends of Jharkhand assembly poll counting, which began in the morning, show that the state is headed towards a hung assembly as no political party or combination seems in a position to get a majority in 81-member house.

According to early trends, the BJP-led NDA is ahead in 23 segments while the Congress is leading in 22 seats. JMM, which has lead in 16 seats, is emerging as a strong player for formation of the next government in the state, which has been under president’s rule for almost a year now. Nevertheless, the JMM has already put a rider for supporting any political alliance.

“We will support only those who will favour Shibu Soren (the JMM chief) as the new chief minister,” JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya was quoted as saying by IANS.

Lalu Prasad’s RJD is leading in six assembly constituencies.

Jailed ex-minister Enos Ekka was trailing in the assembly seats of Kolibera and Simdega he contested from. Two other jailed former ministers, Kamlesh Singh and Harinarayan Rai, were, however, leading from Hussainabad and Jarmundi constituencies respectively.

The counting of votes for Jharkhand assembly elections, which were held in five phases, began in the morning amid tight security. There are about 30,000 security forces and 5,200 officials at the 31 counting centres in the state.

The staggered polls to the 81-member Jharkhand assembly were held between November 25 and December 18. A total of 1,511 candidates were in the fray and a 58 per cent voter turnout was recorded.

The vote count is finally expected to end president’s rule in the state. President’s rule was imposed Jan 19 after then chief minister Soren lost the Tamar assembly by-election.

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