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Why Maharashtra, Haryana assembly elections are crucial for BJP


New Delhi, Sep 13: Political parties are gearing up for the upcoming three state elections with the Election Commission (EC) expected to announce poll dates in these states, likely to be held in November.

Elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand will be interesting as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled states look to increase its tally in after the massively successful Lok Sabha elections.

Amit Shah and Narendra Modi

Let us have a look at the key factors that will have major impact on the three state elections.

First elections after 2019 Lok Sabha polls

    BJP workers protest in kolkata, police use water cannons to disperse them

    Months after the BJP's impressive victory, it will be election season again with Maharashtra, Haryana and in all probability Jharkhand going for Assembly polls in October. While other political parties are still reeling under the setback in the general elections, BJP has already begun its election campaign with yatras by chief ministers in Maharashtra and Haryana.

    It will again be a testing time of Modi's popularity and BJP president Amit Shah's strategy.

    Maharashtra polls: Big blow to NCP as Ganesh Naik joins BJP

    Article 370

    The forthcoming elections in the two states are also the first after the Modi government nullified Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution, changing Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcating the state into two separate Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

    The BJP has planned to make Article 370 and nationalism its main poll planks, besides development in the upcoming Assembly polls.

    The BJP's success in getting Article 370 abrogated is likely to help it in the forthcoming elections. The party may go to the voters claiming it as one of its major achievements.

    The decision to annul Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh came just 10 weeks after the Narendra Modi government assumed charge in its second term.

    Triple Talaq bill

    In a major political win for the Narendra Modi government, the triple talaq bill was cleared. The passage of bill is seen as a clear indication that the BJP is making sincere efforts to garner maximum Muslim votes primarily in the forthcoming assembly elections scheduled to be held later this year.

    Leaders across the political spectrum, social activists and top jurists hailed the move as a victory of "gender equality" and a "giant step" for women. The outcome of these elections will throw light on what Muslims feel about the BJP and its policies, particularly the women.

    The triple talaq bill has been a bone of contention between the Narendra Modi government and the Opposition since December 2017, when the government first tabled the legislation in the Lok Sabha.

    Economic slowdown

    The economic slowdown has been a cause of worry for the government ahead of a string of Assembly elections. The slowdown suggested the underlying momentum in the economy was still weak, posing a challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government that must produce masses of jobs to absorb a million people entering the workforce every month.

    Mumbai being the financial capital, a debate over the deepening economic slowdown can become particularly difficult for the ruling BJP in Maharashtra.

    The three inter-linked economic issues-the slowdown, unemployment can quickly turn into a headache for all the three state governments when they go to the people to seek re-election.

    India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth slumped to a seven-year low of 5 per cent.

    The BJP had won 47 out of 90 seats in Haryana, 42 of 81 in alliance with the All Jharkhand Students Union in Jharkhand and bagged 122 seats in Maharashtra in partnership with the Shiv Sena, which won 63 seats, in the 2014 assembly polls.

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