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Editorial: Election Season in India to Start Soon?

Port Wings, 12 Sept 2018:

With the Telangana State dissolving its Assembly and announcing their intention to have their elections along with big states like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh where elections due before December this year, the election season in India will start very soon.

For the union government and BJP, it will be a longest season starting from October this year to May next year, when the General Elections are due.

Even before the official announcement of state elections, battle lines are clearly drawn between the ruling BJP and opposition parties like Congress, TMC, DMK, JD(S), Shiv Sena, PDP, NC and ofcourse the TDP.

As the Congress party’s campaign to regain power in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh picking up speed, opening of new front in Telangana is surely a matter of concern for BJP. Whatever be the results in these states in forthcoming elections, it will for sure affect the national stage where BJP planning to come back to power with 400+ MPs.

With the BJP having firmly sitting in Karnataka with 104 MLAs in state assembly, opening its account in the South India seems to be not less than a daunting task.

Of the five southern states, it was only in Karnataka that BJP got a significant number of seats in the 2014 general elections. In the then undivided Andhra Pradesh, it won three seats with a vote share of 8.5%. However, four years on, the political landscape is vastly different, with former ally Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu exiting the NDA government at the Centre over the denial of special category status among others. He has since been highly critical of BJP and had appealed to the Telugu population in Karnataka to vote against the BJP in the assembly polls.

By going by the latest trends, the situation in Telangana is slightly different, as caretaker CM Chandrasekhar Rao had spent the last couple of months visiting leaders in non BJP ruled states to stitch up support for his non-Congress, non-BJP front.

With State elections could happen in next few months, Congress has emerged as a bigger threat to KCR in Telangana than BJP.

Situation in Tamil Nadu and Kerala is no different than what was in 2014. BJP needs a bigger strategy to break into this anti-BJP heartland. So, BJP may use the Telangana state polls to send a message to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh states about their intentions for winning 2019 General Elections.

With Karnataka slipping out of its hands by a whisker, BJP wouldn’t want to miss the Parliament in 2019 and their zeal to remain in power will unleash new wave of election strategy that could be new in format.

Given the frenzy atmosphere in New Delhi, the election season just to start and all eyes are now on the Election Commission of India.

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