Assembly Elections 2019 : Where does the Parties Stand?
The Election commission has recently announced the dates for the upcoming assembly elections in the states of Maharashtra and Haryana. The voting will be done on 21st October and the results will be declared on 24th of the same month. The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora also said that the candidates can fill their nominations until 4th October. He also declined all the speculation of EVM tempering. He said – “EVMs are safe, they cannot be tampered with. Candidates are free to come to near the strong rooms at a safe distance”. The CEC also insisted to avoid the use of plastic and suggested all the parties to use eco-friendly materials in the election campaign. The EC will also send special expenditure officers to keep a check on the expenditure done by the candidates.
Maharashtra, has 288 assembly seats. In 2014, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 122 seats. BJP formed the government along with Shiv Sena who bagged 63 seats in 2014 and Devendra Fadnavees became the chief minister of the state. In 2014, BJP contested only 260 seats whereas Shiv Sena contested on almost all seats in the state. The parties formed an alliance after the election results. However, for upcoming Assembly Elections, both the parties seems to have issues with respect to seat sharing. Sena spokesperson, Sanjay Raut has already warned BJP to work out of alliance if they don’t get respectable number of seats.
Opposition particularly Congress and NCP are set to form the alliance as per the words of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. He has announced that the seat sharing pact between the two parties is finalized. NCP and Congress Party will contest on only 125 seats each. The two parties will be contesting 250 seats leaving 38 seats for its smaller allies.
Congress in Maharashtra looks unsettled. Many big faces including Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Kripashankar Singh and Harshvardhan Patil have left the party. In addition to this, some of its sitting MLAs Nirmala Gavit, Bhausaheb Kambale, Kalidas Kolambkar Jaykumar Gore and Abdul Sattar have also joined other parties.
In the 2014 assembly elections BJP got 33.3% of vote share in Haryana. The party bagged 47 seats and went on to form a clear majority government for the first time in state. Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar is a prominent public face for BJP in this election. After Lok Sabha sweep, BJP is on high morale in state and is working of Mission 70+ in the state.
For Congress the joining of four Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leaders namely Pradeep Chaudhary, Ashok Arora, Subhash Goyal and Gaganjit Sandhu have boosted their morale in state. Ghulam Nabi Azad who is the in-charge of party affairs in Haryana, welcomed the leaders into the party. The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Kumari Selja and former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda were also present to greet their new colleagues.
BJP will try its best to retain it’s government in both states after a successful campaign in the general elections. The historic decision of removing Article 370 from Jammu & Kashmir will also have an impact on their campaign. For Congress, it will be the first test of their interim president Sonia Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi will also try to prove his point by campaigning for these elections. The Modi Factor can also dominate the elections as it did in the general elections. However, It is not going to be easy for both Congress and BJP. Both parties may need support from other parties if failed to get the majority.