In what has been termed as the “Jharkhand Jolt” by the Hindustan Times, mainstream newspapers Tuesday lead with the BJP’s comprehensive loss to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) alliance in the state’s assembly polls. The Indian Express notes that this is the fifth state to slip out of the BJP’s control in one year.
Jharkhand election results
The Times of India calls it a “morale-boosting victory” to the Opposition, with the JMM-Congress-RJD winning a comfortable majority of 47 seats in a House of 81. TOI adds that this is also the first time when BJP lost the tag of being the single largest party in Jharkhand. The Hindu notes that JMM won 30 seats, becoming the single largest party in the assembly, BJP won 25 seats “compared to 37 in 2014” and the Congress “increased its tally to 16 compared to six in 2014”.
HT writes that “BJP’s defeat has been ascribed largely to local factors, though the outcome also reflects an emerging pattern in which the party is increasingly unable to defend power at the state-level, even as it remains dominant nationally”.
Express reports that JMM’s Hemant Soren is tipped to be the new chief minister while current CM Raghubar Das was defeated by BJP rebel Saryu Roy, who contested as an independent.
HT also reports how the verdict could cost BJP all Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand.
More chief ministers rule out NRC
Hindu reports that “Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray assured delegations from the Muslim community that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will not be implemented in the state”.
HT writes that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said his state would not implement NRC and even Hemant Soren of the JMM told he “found the idea (of NRC) problematic at first glance”.
Express, in its ‘Explained’ box, notes that “the growing number of CMs against NRC adds significant political weight to its push-back”, and adds that “the signal is clear: Opposition is not convinced”.
Express reports that “in what is the first admission of firing by Uttar Pradesh Police during the protests” against CAA, “senior police officials in Bijnor confirmed that a civilian Mohammed Suleman, 20, died after he was shot by constable Mohit Kumar in self-defence”.
“The Opposition Monday stepped up protests” against the CAA with the “Congress holding a ‘Satyagraha for unity’ at Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial in Rajghat, while demonstrations were held against the Act in several states by students and others,” writes Hindu.
“Three children were among nine dead in outer Delhi’s Kirari Monday as a massive fire broke out at a three-storey building,” reports HT. TOI notes that this is the “second major fire tragedy to hit the capital in a fortnight and the third this year”.
TOI: In ‘Saffron Slide’, TOI argues that the Jharkhand election results point out “considerable anti-incumbency against the Das government, with local issues appearing to have undercut the party in the assembly polls”.
The newspaper adds that despite pertinent issues plaguing the state, the BJP was confident it would return to power “on the strength of the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who campaigned vigorously in the state”. However, this “proved to be overconfidence — the Modi magic looks to be waning”, it writes.
TOI recommends that BJP learn from the Congress “which has realised its limitations and is playing second fiddle to strong regional parties”.
Express: In ‘Us versus us’, Express analyses PM Modi’s speech at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi and writes that “all speeches are made of what is said and what is not”. The newspaper argues that aside from what he said, including distancing himself from a nationwide NRC, “what he didn’t say was even more significant and controversial: He did not say there would be no NRC”.
The newspaper also says he did not speak about the agitators, “denying them agency and suggesting they are mere puppets pulled by strings”. It adds that “he did not urge or express respect, or empathy for the young people who are opposing the law”.
It finally notes: “The PM has said his piece. With more and more CMs standing up and saying no to the central government on NRC, the pushback grows”.
Prime Time news Monday mainly debated the Jharkhand assembly election results, with the JMM-Congress-RJD alliance winning the state. NDTV had a special show with Sreenivasan Jain and Nidhi Razdan, dedicated to decoding the results. On India Today, Rajdeep Sardesai joined his former colleagues in doing the same and asked “Is the Modi magic waning?”
Zee News questioned why BJP lost Jharkhand. And on Times Now, Padmaja Joshi asked whether it was #AlvidaNRC, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Ramlila Maidan speech, said nothing has been discussed regarding the NRC.
Republic TV: On #LiesCostLives, Arnab Goswami debated why people were protesting against NRC when it hadn’t even been introduced as the Prime Minister had reiterated during his Ramlila Maidan speech.
Goswami stated: “As long as there is a bit of tamasha and religious polarisation, Waris Pathan (AIMIM leader) is very happy. Look at him he’s beaming tonight.”
To this, Pathan said: “Should I believe Narendra Modi or Amit Shah? They are contradicting each other on NRC.”
Columnist and BJP supporter Shubhrastha said, “How is it that all protesters…after the Jharkhand election results are back to work Monday? Clearly the protests were political.”
CNN News18: Marya Shakil on #NewsEpicentre debated the Jharkhand election results and the new Hemant Soren government that is to take power in the state.
BJP spokesperson Neha Joshi said, “Just a few months back, we swept the Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand. So clearly, there was something that we didn’t read right. And we are going to get into that.”
Senior journalist Neerja Chowdhury remarked, “#What is very significant to me here is that the BJP has lost out in the tribal areas.”
Aaj Tak: The channel was back with its CGI visuals to discuss the Jharkhand mandate. A drone was visible on TV screens with a headline that read: “Jharkhand mein BJP ki safai, Congress ka josh high” (roughly translated as: BJP wiped out in Jharkhand, Congress in high spirits).
BJP’s Gaurav Bhatia accepted the defeat, but didn’t miss a chance to laud his party’s vote share increase. “In a democracy, it is the people who win. But our party’s vote share has increased by 2 per cent”.
Congress’ Ragini Nayak said voters have now understood how BJP’s rhetoric and politics are of no use.
JMM’s Supriya Bhattacharya said, “If the BJP wasn’t stubborn…if they would have paid heed to the affected they would probably not have been defeated so badly.”
India TV: Anchor Saurav Sharma discussed the election results.
Sambit Patra claimed that political parties with “vested interests” have spread misleading information in Jharkhand, while Charan Singh Sapra from the Congress said voters of Jharkhand have shown BJP the way to “detention centres”.