Independents no longer the flavour of Jharkhand's voters

Ranchi (IANS) Time was when independent legislators and MPs were the flavour in Jharkhand. Not any more as they have created instability in the state's politics.

The BJP government led by Arjun Munda had fallen in 2006 as five independent legislators supporting it had withdrawn their support.

Independent legislator Madhu Koda had became Chief Minister in 2006 with support of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), RJD and Congress. The Koda government hogged the limelight for all the wrong reasons - all the five independents including Madhu Koda, were later jailed on corruption charges.

The other four were Kamlesh Singh, Enos Ekka, Hari Nararyan Rai and Bhanu Pratap Sahi.

This shattered the faith of the people, who gradually started reposing faith in the mainstream parties instead of the independents, whose numbers began declining in the Lok sabha polls.

As per data available with the Election Commission, there were 100 independent candidates in 2009, which declined to 76 in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll. There were a total of 249 and 240 candidates in the two years.

The total number of candidates this time around will be known only on Arpil 30 when the nominations for the seventh phase of polling are scrutinised.

In 2009, three independent candidates made it to the Lok Sabha while not a single one was successfull in 2014.

The declining faith in independent candidates can be gauged from the fact that the people chose to elect a stable government in the 2014 assembly poll and gave a clear mandate to the BJP-led alliance. For the first time since its creation in November 2000, Jharkhand is witnessing a stable government that is running for the last four years without the fear of falling. Before 2014, no government survived more than two- and-a-half-years.

Independent legislator Geeta Koda, the wife of Madhu Koda, has joined Congress to fight the Lok Sabha poll. Sources in Congress say that her name has almost been finalis; from Chaibasa seat.

Thus, in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the fight is between NDA and opposition grand alliance. 

Jharkhand will vote in the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th phases, beginning April 29 and concluding May 19. 

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