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Dhaka Tribune

Crucial state polls set to shape India’s political landscape

  • The elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram
  • Hindutva vs Welfare politics

 

Update : 18 Nov 2023, 08:11 PM

In a significant electoral showdown, five Indian states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Mizoram – are gearing up for legislative elections in December, posing a substantial test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bid for a third term in the upcoming national elections scheduled by May.

Both Modi, representing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Rahul Gandhi of the main opposition Congress party have been vigorously campaigning across these states, making promises ranging from cash doles and farm loan waivers to subsidies and insurance coverage to sway voters.

Rahul, in his efforts to revitalize the Congress Party since its setback in the 2019 general elections, has played a pivotal role in forming the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), an alliance of 28 regional parties aimed at challenging the BJP’s dominance in 2024. 

However, due to local rivalries, INDIA hasn’t been able to extend its unity to the state elections, providing the BJP with an advantage.

These state elections, held in four legs until November 30, will see roughly one-sixth of India’s total electorate cast their votes, with the results expected on December 3. The primary contest lies between the BJP and Congress, with regional parties like Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and Mizo National Front (MNF) also in the mix.

While opinion polls suggest closely contested races, especially in the Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, Sachin Pilot of Congress emphasized that the results would reflect the overall public mood and significantly contribute to shaping the messaging, coordination, and leadership of the opposition bloc ahead of the 2024 polls.

The Congress has strategically endorsed welfare schemes in states like Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, utilizing Mandal ayog politics in Bihar to counter the Hindutva politics of the BJP. 

The outcome of these elections is poised to profoundly impact India’s political landscape, setting the stage for the larger battle in 2024.

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