Jharkhand bids 2014 goodbye with stable mandate
After 14 years of uncertain and fragile alliances ruling Jharkhand, the electorate gave the BJP-Ajsu coalition an absolute majority in 2014 with new Chief Minister Raghubar Das saying the assembly election mandate was for stability and development.
Ranchi: After 14 years of uncertain and fragile alliances ruling Jharkhand, the electorate gave the BJP-Ajsu coalition an absolute majority in 2014 with new Chief Minister Raghubar Das saying the assembly election mandate was for stability and development.
The third assembly elections, spanned over five phases, gave Jharkhand its 10th government on December 28 after the previous Houses saw nine regimes since the foundation of the state on November 15, 2000.
"In the past 14 years, Jharkhand has become infamous. Give me time to put the state on the fast track of development," Das said.
The state has seen five chief ministers - Babulal Marandi, Arjun Munda (thrice), Shibu Soren (thrice), Madhu Koda and Hemant Soren - heading nine governments.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed several rallies, appealing to the people to end instability in the state and usher in development that could put Jharkhand in top bracket of developed states.
Though fragile governments tend to encourage Maoist activities, Naxal-related deaths, till October declined with 130 killings (seven policemen, 77 civilians and 46 Naxalites) compared to last year which recorded 211 deaths (36 policemen, 126 civilians and 49 Naxalites, according to police records).
The casualties of Naxalites also included killing each other in turf wars. The police records say Jharkhand has 19 Naxal outfits, including CPI (Maoist), People's Liberation Front of India and other splinter groups.
Maoists blew up a vehicle carrying polling and police personnel in Dumka in the third and final phase of polling in the Lok Sabha elections on April 24, inflicting eight casualties.
The police also made some important arrests in the Naxal ranks.
On the crime front, air rifle shooter Tara Shahdeo hogged headlines after she walked out of her marriage with Ranjit Kumar Kohli alias Rakibul Hasan on the ground that Hasan allegedly cheated, deceived and tortured her.
Shahdeo exposed how Kohli allegedly had contacts with officials from judiciary, government and politicians with one of the judicial officials placed under suspension and names of two ex-ministers in the erstwhile Hemant Soren cabinet figuring during the course of probe.
Kohli's contacts with politicians was evident when former Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari admitted at a media conference that he had taken his "services" to get a person released on parole.
On corruption front, the ED froze former chief minister Madhu Koda's bank accounts. Koda's former cabinet colleague, Anosh Ekka, was arrested in connection with the murder of a teacher.
Pursuing with the 2013 Patna bomb blast and Bardhaman blast cases, the National Investigation Agency raided at places located in Ranchi and Pakur.
The fragile nature of coalition governments, in which multiple parties join them, had been evident when former Chief Minister Hemant Soren dropped three ministers for dissent.
At least 16 MLAs quit ahead of the assembly polls to join one or the other party in the hope of retaining seats. But several of them failed in their "opportunistic objective" as interpreted by some of the senior political leaders.
The assembly elections saw the defeat of former chief ministers Babulal Marandi, Arjun Munda, Madhu Koda and Hemant Soren - though Soren won Barhait he lost his home turf Dumka - and nine incumbent ministers.
Ex-Assembly Speaker Shashank Sekhar Bhokta also lost the electoral battle while in office.