Which way the wind is blowing? The answer will be known by the afternoon on December 11, 2018 when the results of five state assembly elections will be declared. Is the Modi wave still as strong as it was in 2014? Or, will we see a re-emergence of Congress, the century-old party which had almost drifted in to oblivion since Narendra Modi has taken the centre stage? All these questions that will shape the country’s political future will be answered on that day.
If Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) can retain its strongholds at the Hindi heartland or the so called cow belt, the party can be rest assured to return to power in Delhi after 2019 general elections. But if it loses two out of three states in this part of the country, there will definitely be a question mark on BJP’s chances of returning to power. It may be noted here in the 2014 elections BJP achieved nearly 98 per cent success in 2014 polls in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. So to repeat the success in 2019, BJP needs to do well in these three states.
On the other hand, after being virtually vanquished by BJP juggernaut in the last general elections and subsequent Assembly elections, opposition parties, especially Congress are now making all out attempts to stage a comeback. In recent times, the opposition parties have tasted some success too in this regard. Karnataka is the latest example. In this southern state, Congress and JD (S) has combined together to keep BJP out of power. In Uttar Pradesh also the alliance politics had forced BJP to bite the dust in the electoral battle. In face of opposition unity, the ruling party has lost in both the parliamentary constituencies which are stated to be the strongholds of the State’s Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister. So a defeat in a couple of Assembly elections will definitely weaken BJP’s footing in country’s heart land. With so much is at stake, what may be the possible outcome? Poll stars are divided. No two opinion polls or exit polls are similar, which clearly proves the battle is neck to neck.
While the polls of three state assemblies in Hindi heartland have all the ingredients of altering political equations at the Centre, the other two states Mizoram and Telangana, which have gone to polls simultaneously is no less important. A loss for Congress in Mizoram will definitely sound an alarm bell for the party. If the party fails to retain power in Mizoram, perhaps it will be for the first time in the history of Independent India that Congress is not in power in any of the seven states of the North-Eastern region, which will definitely be a big blow. In Telangana, traditional foes Congress and Telegu Desam Party (TDP) have become friends and joined hands to defeat incumbent Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS). If this experiment succeeds, definitely the cry for an anti-BJP alliance will get louder. Otherwise, BJP can be rest assured of getting a new alliance partner in the from of TRS if it forms the next government at the Centre.
All in all, the results of five state Assembly elections is all set to decorate the stage for another round of political realignment in the country.