The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday lost the Assembly elections in Jharkhand to the alliance of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal. The ruling party won only 25 seats in the 81-member Assembly, while the Opposition alliance won 47 seats. The JMM emerged the single largest party with 30 seats, while its alliance partner Congress won 16 seats and RJD one. The majority mark is 41.

Chief Minister Raghubar Das lost his own seat to Independent candidate and former BJP minister Saryu Roy in Jamshedpur East. Roy defeated Das by 15,833 votes. Das had won this seat by a margin of more than 70,000 votes in the 2014 Assembly elections.

Das conceded defeat in the evening, after insisting throughout the morning that his party would win the elections. He took personal responsibility, calling it his own defeat and not that of the BJP. Later in the day, he tendered his resignation to Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu, ANI reported.

On the other hand, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader and chief ministerial candidate Hemant Soren said the alliance’s victory was a “milestone” for the state. “The trends of the election results suggest that the voters of Jharkhand have given a clear mandate for which I am very thankful to the voters,” he said at a press conference. “Today’s victory is full of happiness for many but for me, it is also the day to take a vow to fulfill the expectations of the public.”

Soren contested from two seats – Dumka and Barhait. In Dumka, Soren beat BJP candidate and state minister Lois Marandi by over 13,000 votes. In Barhait, he beat BJP’s Simon Malto by over 25,000 votes.

BJP National President and Union Home Minister Amit Shah also conceded defeat, saying that his party respects the mandate of the people. “We express our gratitude towards them for giving us the opportunity to serve them for five years,” Shah tweeted. “BJP is committed towards continuous development in the state.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Opposition alliance on its victory. “Congratulations to @HemantSorenJMM Ji and the JMM-led alliance for the victory in the Jharkhand polls,” Modi tweeted. “Best wishes to them in serving the state.” Modi also thanked the people of Jharkhand for allowing the BJP to rule for five years, and the workers of the BJP for their hard work.

BJP leader and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda claimed that misinformation spread by the Opposition about the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens affected the poll result in Jharkhand, The Times of India reported.

Opposition reactions

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in a tweet, congratulated his party and its allies as well as leaders and workers of the alliance for the victory.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called it a “verdict in favour of the citizens”. “Congratulations @HemantSorenJMM ji, @RJDforIndia, @INCJharkhand on winning,” she tweeted. “People of Jharkhand have entrusted U to fulfill their aspirations. My good wishes to all brothers/sisters in Jharkhand. Elections were held during #CAA_NRC_Protest. This is a verdict in favour of citizens.”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Jharkhand Assembly poll results appeared to be a verdict against the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Amendment Act, PTI reported. “So it appears that the people of at least one state have conclusively given their verdict that they do not want it [CAA and NRC],” he said.

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said the result shows that people are not with the Bharatiya Janata Party. “After Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, people have decided to keep BJP away from power in Jharkhand also,” Pawar said according to ANI. Another party leader, Nawab Malik, said that the voters of Chhattisgarh have trashed the arrogance of the BJP.

Congress leader P Chidambaram said that all non-BJP parties must rally around his party to save the Indian Constitution. Chidambaram made the remark after taking part in a rally in Chennai against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that the Act and the National Register of Citizens did not help the BJP in Jharkhand, ANI reported. “Looking at the trend, it seems that the people of Jharkhand have rejected the BJP, Raut said early in the day. “The Adivasis residing in Jharkhand have kept the BJP away from power.”