The results of the Lok Sabha elections are likely to impact the outcomes of the Assembly polls in Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra. All the three states are currently ruled by the BJP-led NDA and are expected to head for polls in October this year. The NDA registered a massive victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and bagged over 350 seats. The BJP alone managed to get 303 seats.

Drawing reference to 2014, a section of political experts have said that the Lok Sabha election results are likely to impact the Assembly polls that are to be held later this year as they did in 2014 when the BJP and its allies won the the Assembly elections in all three states—Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand. In 2014, this was achieved by the BJP riding on the “Modi wave”.

Sanjeet Yadav, a scholar of Kurukshetra University, told The Sunday Guardian: “No doubt, the BJP and its workers are confident after registering a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha polls and this confidence is likely to benefit the party in retaining power in all the three states that are going for Assembly polls.”

“The BJP is going to benefit in the upcoming Assembly polls as the party has almost crushed the Opposition in all the northern states across the country. Especially in Haryana, the BJP wiped out the Opposition and won all the 10 Lok Sabha seats of the state,” Yadav said.

In the Lok Sabha polls, in Haryana, the BJP wiped out three regional parties—Loktantar Suraksha Party, Indian National Lok Dal and Jannayak Janata Party. The party has almost doubled its vote share from the last Lok Sabha polls in the state.

Raman Malik, BJP spokesperson, told The Sunday Guardian: “We have already started preparations for the Assembly polls. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is visiting all the districts to attend thanksgiving ceremonies and soon the party is going to coin the slogan for the Assembly polls—Abki Bar 70 Ke Paar. The number of seats that we are expecting to win in the state is not going to be less than 70. If you go by the recently concluded Lok Sabha election’s data, you would find that our party has outperformed the Opposition in 83 Assembly constituency segments.”

In Maharashtra, BJP and its ally Shiv Sena became successful in winning 23 and 18 seats respectively out of the total 48 parliamentary seats of the state.

Krishna Reddy, a research scholar from University of Mumbai, said: “BJP and Shiv Sena captured the imagination of the state’s electorate in the Lok Sabha polls. The NDA has even increased its vote share, that too at the expense of the UPA. The growing support base and a strong alliance with Shiv Sena gives the BJP an edge over the Opposition in the state.”

Similarly in Jharkhand, the NDA won 12 of the state’s 14 seats, while the Congress and its ally could manage to win only two seats in the state. However, several analysts have said that it is too difficult to draw any reference from the LS polls to understand Assembly polls.

M.N. Thakur, a political expert from Jawaharlal Nehru University told The Sunday Guardian: “No doubt that a strong Modi wave on the ground worked for the BJP in getting a landslide victory, but it can’t be said whether the momentum will continue in the Assembly polls. We saw how the BJP lost in the Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan that were held in December 2018. The results say that people vote differently in different elections.”

Bijendra Jha, a scholar from JNU, said: “We must not forget that every election is different from the previous one and local anti-incumbency and local factors play a greater role in deciding which way the results would go.  The voters may vote differently as in the Assembly elections as Prime Minister Modi will not be in direct contest.”

Assembly polls are also due in Bihar, J&K and Delhi and are likely to be held early next year. However, there is no certainty over the polls in J&K as the state is under Governor’s Rule.

 

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