Friday, March 10, 2017

Stage set for 2017 Assembly polls Vote Count

New Delhi: Stage is set for counting of votes for elections in five states, including the nation's most populous province of Uttar Pradesh with political observers keeping their fingers crossed after the Exit Polls projection gave the Bharatiya Janata Party an edge in three-four states.

Elections were held in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur besides Uttar Pradesh; but all eyes will be chiefly on UP, which has a 140 million electorate, and sends 80 MPs into the Lok Sabha and 31 to the Rajya Sabha.
The possibility of BJP making a return to power, as claimed by the saffron outfit and as projected by Exit Polls, has made the political game more interesting. Quickly reacting to yesterday's Exit polls surveys, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav indicated that he is wiling to do business with one time arch rival Bahujan Samaj Party.

Ms Mayawati's BSP had recorded a stunning victory in 2007 by combining her Dalit support base with right caste social engineering and is generally credited for giving a better law and order situation under her from 2007 to 2012, when she lost power to the Samajwadi Party. The alleged frivolous spending by her on statues were once a major poll issue for Samajwadi Party and also the BJP.
The Congress today indicated that it is also willing to explore post-poll alliance with the BSP supremo. Even as the Congress exuded confidence of romping home comfortably in Uttar Pradesh in alliance with Samajwadi Party, the party spokesman Abhishekh Manu Singhvi said, "We are confident of forming government with our alliance party Samajwadi but if the mandate throws a hung situation (assembly), nature and politics cannot be left in vacuum".
The party is not against exploring possibility of any post-poll "easily available handshake". 
For BJP, the outcome of UP polls is directly linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's prestige as he is also Lok Sabha MP from Varanasi.

The BJP also links the outcome of these elections in UP and other states as people's response to highly controversial decision of imposing demonetisation in November 2016. The Congress spokesman said notwithstanding the poll results; it remains a fact that note-ban was "a historic blunder".
The BJP's longer-range ambition of converting its minority status in the Rajya Sabha to majority, implementing controversial Hindutva-nationalistic agenda and second generation economic reforms are alll being linked to party's performance in these polls. 

The exit polls prediction will come true, said BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and claimed that this would mean endorsement to party's Hindutva politics as well.
"If Exit polls are correct then it means that Hindutva with Namo have delivered four of the five states for BJP," he tweeted.

All eyes will be also in the outcome of elections in Punjab, where Akali Dal-BJP combine after a 10-year-long stint may see adverse results, according to projections.

In Manipur, Congress Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh is on the hot seat as he faced an anti-incumbency wave of uninterrupted rule of 15 years.In Uttarakhand, the verdict is being linked to high drama witnessed in the hill state last year when the Centre had imposed President's Rule - but the move was reversed by the Supreme Court.
Fierce elections also went in Goa where in 2012, a large number of minority Christians, had voted in favour of BJP. But the religious minority Christians were not much enthusiastic towards BJP in this year's polls. In political circle, talks were also on whether Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar may be drafted back to state politics. Mr Parrikar, a former Chief Minister, is considered a popular leader and a vote catcher for the BJP in Goa.

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