Assembly elections are due in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu Kashmir. As per the reports, the Election Commission could announce the dates for the Assembly polls anytime now. Reports say that polling in Haryana and Maharashtra could be clubbed together in October while the elections in Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand are scheduled to held in December.
After a spectacular show in Lok Sabha polls, BJP is inching to sweep these States and increase the number of States in its kitty by next year. The party swept Maharashtra (44/48), Haryana (7/10), J&K by winning 3 out of 6 seats. While in Jharkhand, it had scored off 12 seats out of 14.
Undoubtedly, the State elections are fought on local issues and this time it will not get edge due to Modi factor, but the party will surely gain from strong anti-incumbency against the Congress Governments in these States. Mostly, all the States which are going to polls are governed by Congress and the party is facing anti-incumbency there. Political experts predict that the trend which started with the Congress' rout in Assembly polls of four States in December last year will continue to batter the grand old party.
BJP to continue with its winning streak
Since December last year, the Congress has been unseated in two politically crucial States like Delhi and Rajasthan besides losing power at Centre in Lok Sabha poll in May. In Delhi where the party was in power for last 15 years, saw a humiliating defeat with its lowest ever tally of 8 seats in 70-member Assembly. In Rajasthan, the party had lowest ever tally of 21 seats in 200-member House. Congress suffered a heavy jolt in the Lok Sabha election when it failed to win mere 10 per cent of the total of 543 seats. Due to this, the party did not even able to get Opposition party status. The ensuing polls are being seen as a repeat of the Lok Sabha polls.
Maharashtra, the largest of all four poll-bound States. The Congress-NCP alliance has been in power in this State since 1999 and has won three consecutive elections. Recently, the ABP News-Nielson opinion poll survey has predicted clear doom for the Congress-led-alliance and a historic win for BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in the State.
Pre-poll survey predicted clear doom for Congress in Haryana and Maharashtra
According the survey, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance may get a two-thirds majority in Maharashtra. The opinion poll predicted 210 of the 288 Assembly seats to the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in the State whereas it showed Congress reducing to 32 seats as compared to 82 it won last time and NCP to 23 as against previous record of 62.
Here, the ruling alliance is battling with anti-incumbency, leadership crisis, and corruption charges.
Congress' prospects do not seem bright in Haryana. As per ABP News-Nielsen pre-poll survey, the Congress will win only 13 of the 90 seats in the Assembly, the worst performance all major players in the fray.
Along with anti-incumbency, the Congress Government in the State is battling with internal crisis. There has been an exodus of Congress leaders to BJP. Voices of dissent have been growing in the party ever since the party was decimated to its worst ever tally in the Lok Sabha elections. Senior leaders of the party have opened revolt against CM Hooda and demanding change of guard. These leaders were not happy with Hooda's style of functioning.
Leaders like Captain Ajay Yadav, Kumari Selja, and Kiran Choudhry may have not left the party but are unhappy with the Congress strongman.
Till now, the party had lost top leaders in the name of Rao Inderjit Singh, a former union minister, Dharambir, chief parliamentary secretary, Ramesh Kaushik, a former minister and former MLA Nripendra Sangwan, chairman of the Congress's ex-servicemen cell and Birender Singh, to the BJP.
Jammu & Kashmir
The situation of Congress is not so good in Jammu & Kashmir too. The party has snapped ties with Farooq Abdullah's National Conference. This decision will work against the party in upcoming elections. Muslims votes will now be divided among the Congress, NC and PDP.
The party is battling with the issues of non performance, anti incumbency in the State. Still, it is confident that the goodwill of its MLAs will boost the party's performance.
The party which formed Government in the State with the help of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha is now struggling to maintain its image among the people. The people are reportedly not happy with the Government due to massive corruption in State Government departments, lack of development and loot of natural resources.
Public anger reflected in the Lok Sabha election when the BJP won 12 of 14 Lok Sabha seats while the Congress' was wiped out of the State.
The grand old party is fastly loosing its ground in many parts of the country. Even after series of humiliating defeats, the party, it seems has not learnt any lesson.