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As BJP clears a path to 2024, up ahead are these poll pit stops

A look at the political situation in 9 states where elections are due before the next Lok Sabha polls, besides J&K

Besides, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha and Sikkim go to polls in the months following the 2024 general elections, and could see an impact of the Lok Sabha results. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)
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Holding on to Gujarat with a landslide victory, winning 152 seats in the 182-member Assembly, the BJP has taken a giant step in consolidating its position ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections.

The road to that goes through these nine state elections which are up next, over the coming year, till 2024:

Nagaland, 60 seats

End of term: March 2023

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Elections to the 13th Legislative Assembly of the state in 2018 were fought together by the Nationalist Democratic People’s Party (NDPP) and the BJP, under a People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA). The NDPP’s Neiphiu Rio became the Chief Minister. The BJP won an unprecedented 12 seats in the state.

Meghalaya, 60 seats

End of term: March 2023

The state is ruled by the National People’s Party (NPP) under Chief Minister Conrad Sangma. In the 2018 election, the party was backed by the BJP and regional parties, but contested 53 of the 60 seats on its own. Sangma recently announced that the NPP will fight the elections scheduled for next year alone, and had finalised 58 candidates. He added: “However, we support the NDA and it will be continued.”

Tripura, 60 seats

End of term: March 2023

The BJP came to power in the state for the first time in 2018, ending a 25-year reign of the Left Front. On May 14 this year, in an abrupt change, the BJP dropped Biplab Deb and brought in the relatively low-key Manik Saha as CM. The Congress and CPI(M) are trying to put up a fight, and there is increasing talk of an alliance between the two, while the tribal TIPRA Motha party will take away tribal votes of BJP ally IPFT.

Karnataka, 224 seats

End of term: May 2023

The BJP had last time narrowly lost power to a post-poll coalition stitched together by the Congress and JD(S), with H D Kumaraswamy taking over as CM. Within 14 months, BJP old warhorse B S Yediyurappa had formed the government by engineering defections and toppling the JD(S)-Congress government. In July last year, the BJP took the risky gamble of replacing Yediyurappa with a relatively junior Basavaraj Bommai. The party remains riven with rifts, and last time, a sulking Yediyurappa had cost the BJP dear.

Mizoram, 40 seats

End of term: December 2023

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Mizo National Front leader Zoramthanga became the Chief Minister of the state in December 2018 when his party swept the Assembly seats in the state and defeated the Congress, which had been in power in Mizoram for two terms under Lal Thanawala.

Chhattisgarh, 90 seats

End of term: January 2024

In one of its most decisive victories in recent years, the Congress had won the state under Bhupesh Baghel by securing 68 of the 90 seats. Baghel’s stature has only grown in the party since, with the BJP struggling to mount any real challenge. In the recent bypoll, the Congress retained its ST-reserved Bhanupratappur seat, marking the BJP’s fifth consecutive loss in a by-election.

Madhya Pradesh, 230 seats

End of term: January 2024

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The Congress captured power here after a tough fight against the BJP’s three-time CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. But it was never a comfortable margin and, in March 2020, as Congress stalwart Jyotiraditya Scindia left with 22 MLAs, the Kamal Nath government fell and Chouhan returned to power. The Congress cannot be written off though in the state, with its many powerful leaders, including Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh.

Rajasthan, 200 seats

End of term: January 2024

In the state that has traditionally swung between the BJP and the Congress, the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government defeated then incumbent BJP government under Vasundhara Raje in 2018. The Congress secured a majority of 99 seats in the state. The BJP got 73 seats. However, the Congress term has been largely known for its constant sniping between CM Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot camps, with one rebellion almost costing the Congress this state too. Voters are unlikely to forget this picture of disarray as they head into booths.

Telangana, 119 seats

End of term: January 2024

K Chandrashekar Rao, popularly known as KCR, was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state for the second time in December 2018 after winning a landslide victory in the state. While he remains powerful, the BJP is determined to make inroads in the state and having got a foot into the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, gave the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, newly named Bharat Rashtra Samithi, a scare in a recent bypoll. Meanwhile, KCR has been looking to go national.

UT of Jammu and Kashmir, 90 seats

No govt since mid-2018

The elections to Jammu and Kashmir are also expected to be held next year. These will be crucial as the first elections in the former state after the abrogation of Article 370 stripped its special status. Prior to abrogation, the BJP had parted ways with then alliance partner People’s Democratic Party (PDP), ending Mehbooba Mufti’s stint as the last Chief Minister of the former state. J&K has not had an elected government now since mid-2018, leaving political parties out in the cold. All mainstream parties of the Valley, barring the BJP and Congress, are together in an informal People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).

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Besides, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha and Sikkim go to polls in the months following the 2024 general elections, and could see an impact of the Lok Sabha results.

First published on: 10-12-2022 at 12:14 IST
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