Many states might be are going into elections along with Lok Sabha elections including opposition-ruled Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Odisha, and BJP-ruled Maharashtra, Haryana, and Jharkhand. Some say the dilemma over poll timing may only resolve after the PM mentions something in his 15th August speech this year.
The BJP leaders are trying to assess whether the anti-incumbency factor in the BJP-ruled States is strong or if the anti-government feeling towards the Central Government is more prominent. This must be noted that the Assembly Elections are scheduled in four States at the end of this year. The BJP is the ruling party in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan, whereas the Congress is ruling in Mizoram. Many BJP leaders feel that if the Assembly Elections are held separately in the three BJP-ruled States and the party doesn’t perform well, then the party will suffer in the Lok Sabha Elections. So, these three States might go into elections along with Lok Sabha. There are two ways to go into simultaneous elections: Either the Lok Sabha Elections will be held before schedule or the Assembly Elections will be held four to five months after schedule. If the elections are pushed and four States go into elections along with LS polls, then there will be pressure to hold elections in other States also along with the LS.
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Odisha go into elections along with the LS Elections. Apart from these, three Opposition-ruled States — Maharashtra, Haryana, and Jharkhand, which are BJP-ruled — will also witness elections next year. It is in Maharashtra that the BJP doesn’t go into elections along with the Lok Sabha. However, some say this dilemma over poll timing will be over only after PM Narendra Modi’s speech from the Red Fort on August 15.
OF TWO RESTLESS LEADERS
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is sailing in the same boat as Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray — they are both worried and restless. Both know well that they don’t have any place in the non-NDA alliance if they part ways with the BJP, and they will face a tough situation if they fight alone. So, they want to continue with the BJP, but are creating pressure for more seats. On the other hand, the BJP is well aware of their compulsions and is positioning itself accordingly.
The JDU has put a proposal before the BJP to fight elections on the old formula and wants the seats to be distributed according to the results of the 2015 Assembly Elections. The BJP and other alliance partners want seat distribution according to the 2014 Lok Sabha results.
As per the 2015 results, the JDU was the largest partner in the NDA, while according to the 2014 results, the JDU is the weakest partner in the NDA. In fact, Nitish knows that the BJP needs him for the Lok Sabha Elections because the Government at the Centre will be at stake, and the BJP will try to save its 22 seats at any cost. That is why the JDU wants to hold the Assembly Elections along with the LS, so that seats for both elections are distributed at the same time and they can clinch a respectable number.
The Shiv Sena is also aware that the BJP needs it for the LS Elections as it has to save 23 seats in the State. That is why Uddhav has not surrendered even after meeting Amit Shah, and is continuously attacking the BJP. He knows well that the BJP will share the Lok Sabha seats with the Shiv Sena. But Uddhav is also aware that if the Assembly Elections are not held along with the LS, anything can happen. That is why he also wants the seat-sharing arrangement for the LS and Assembly Elections at the same time. He is asking for 22 Lok Sabha seats and 150 Assembly seats as per the old formula.
IN BIHAR, UPHEAVAL ON THE CARDS
Political drama is unfolding fast in Bihar. First, the Congress went soft on Nitish and said if he leaves the BJP, then its leaders would talk to its alliance partner, the RJD. Suddenly after that, the JDU leaders started demanding 25 seats and pressed for the 2015 formula for seat-sharing. This must be noted that at that time, the JDU and RJD had fought together. Next month, the JDU’s national conclave is scheduled in Delhi and before that, the party’s demand for seat distribution is indicative of many things.
Meanwhile, a fight has erupted between two Dalit leaders of the RJD-Congress alliance. Jitan Ram Manjhi, who has joined the RJD alliance after leaving the NDA, is feuding with former Speaker, Uday Narayan Choudhary. Manjhi said Choudhary was anti-Dalit and he had to resign from the CM’s post due to him. Not only this, Manjhi has staked a claim on five Lok Sabha seats and even started announcing its candidates.
Manjhi’s move is worrying the RJD and Congress. The speculation is that Manjhi is yet again ready to switch sides and might join the NDA. It is also being said that he wanted to see his son Santosh — who had been sent to the Legislative Council recently by the RJD-Congress alliance — as a minister. This must be noted that right now, Nitish is busy connecting with Dalit leaders from all over the State. First, he sent Ram Vilas Paswan’s brother Pashupati to the Legislative Council and gave him a ministerial berth, and later brought in Congress leader Ashok Chaudhary. Now, people are saying Nitish can give the JDU Bihar president post to Ashok Chaudhary. In this scenario, if Manjhi gets ready to join the NDA again, Nitish would give him a warm welcome. And at last Nitish can also go into elections separately with a battery of Dalit leaders.
KCR THE NEW CHANDRABABU?
CM of Telangana K Chandrashekar Rao has stopped singing anti-BJP tunes. He is the first leader who had given an anti-BJP, anti-Congress slogan and had started toiling for a federal front. However, he now seems to have given up all such plans, and can be seen trying to cosy up to the BJP and PM Modi. That is why it is being said that KCR can be the new partner for the BJP in South India.
This is a known fact that Rao wanted to join the NDA Government at the Centre. He desperately wanted to see his daughter, K Kavitha, as a minister at the Centre. His son and niece are ministers in his own Council of Ministers. However, for four years, he could not be successful in his attempts. Now, it is being said that if talks are finalised between the BJP and TRS, Kavitha can become a minister at the Centre and both parties can become alliance partners in Telangana. In this way, the BJP will find a new Chandrababu Naidu in South India. But the BJP leaders of Andhra Pradesh are not in favour of such an alliance. They say that if an alliance is forged with Telangana’s party, then chances of the BJP will go down in Andhra Pradesh.
On the other hand, the BJP leaders of Telangana feel the party can perform better in the politics of Congress, MIM, and TRS. So, they are pressing to go alone in the elections. It’s not clear what will happen in the future, but the fact is that KCR’s language has changed in the past few days. That is why he was not a part of the politics of four Chief Ministers of the Opposition, who had attended the Niti Aayog meeting recently.
Writer: Hari shankar vyas
Courtesy: The Pioneer