Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Political winds

A recent survey for the five-state Assembly elections by polling agency CVoter predicted a close contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. As per predictions by the survey, the BJP will register a comfortable victory in Rajasthan, whereas the Congress has a slight lead over K Chandrashekar Rao’s Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) in Telangana. Thus of the five states going to the polls, the Congress could win Madhya Pradesh , BJP Rajasthan and regional parties in Mizoram and Telangana. In Madhya Pradesh, with a projected vote share of 44.7 percent, the Congress is expected to win 113-125 seats in the 230 seat state Assembly. The incumbent BJP is expected to get a vote share of 44.6 percent and 104-116 seats. Both parties have flipped strategy with the Congress fighting a Presidential style contest under Kamal Nath and the BJP a seat-by-seat battle, choosing not to project Chouhan as its chief ministerial face, seeking votes in name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In Rajasthan, as per predictions by the survey, the incumbent Congress under Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is expected to win only 59-69 seats with a projected vote share of 42 percent. Rajasthan, in total, has 200 Assembly constituencies. The BJP, on the other hand, is predicted to win 127-137 seats with a vote share of 46.7 percent. Rajasthan follows a revolving door mechanism since 1993, with people voting out the incumbent. The BJP has not declared Vasundhara Raje as its CM face and has many aspirants for the top job. Congress is hamstrung due to the Gehlot-Pilot rivalry a slew of welfare schemes launched to woo the voter. The BJP is relying on riwaz and popularity of Modi to make a comeback. Another state, expected to witness a close contest, is Chhattisgarh where the BJP is likely to win 39-45 seats, and the Congress is projected to win 45-51 seats. The vote of BJP and Congress is expected to be 43.5 and 45.3 percent respectively. Chhattisgarh has 90 Assembly seats in total. In Chhattisgarh, the BJP is using the ED for back entry with kickback allegations against CM Baghel by banned Mahadev App owners. A weakened JCC gives hope to the BJP to give a tough fight to the Congress with the state reverting to the trend of close elections, according to the surveys. In a setback for the incumbent BRS, the survey predicted a Congress lead in Telangana. As per projections, Congress is expected to win 48-60 seats in the 119 seat Assembly. The BRS is projected to win 43 to 55 seats while the BJP is likely to win 5-11 seats. In terms of vote share, Congress is expected to win 38.8 percent, BRS 37.5 percent, while the BJP is slated to get 16.3 percent. The AIMIM and the BJP could play a role in the Hyderabad region and split the opposition vote, helping the BRS. Surveys predict a close race with the BRS marginally ahead, and the Congress making the contest close. In Mizoram, which has 40 Assembly constituencies, the survey predicted a three-way contest with MNFs projected to win 13-17 seats, Congress register a victory on 10-14 seats and ZPM projected to win 9-13 seats. Results on December 3 will indicate how 2024 elections will shape up.

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