Mumbai: Maharashtra braces for an epic poll battle. With a riveting and unprecedented five-way contest, even Mumbai’s bookies are hedging their bets. The splintering of long-standing political alliances, just three weeks before the polls, set the stage for an election which could dramatically alter the State’s political map.
In Haryana. three major parties — the Congress, the BJP and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) — seem to be locked in a neck-and-neck race.
7:38 am: In Haryana, BJP will be using Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pull off a win with its slogan of ‘Chalo Modi ke saath.’ The party wants to show that Mr. Modi’s popularity has not waned. On the other hand, the ruling Congress led by incumbent Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is pushing for a record third term.
7:34 am: Assets of 216 MLAs grew 164 per cent since last Maharashtra polls, according to this study.
7:20 am: As coalitions fell in Maharashtra, here’s a question: how many seats did each party in the two former alliances actually deserve to get? The answer to that is obviously political. Rukmini Shrinivasan finds two broad trends from the electoral data in the last 20 years and comes up with 4 reasons on why BJP was right to want more seats.
7:12 am: For the BJP, the stakes in Haryana are considerably lower than in the case of Maharashtra.
7:04 am: The most at stake is in Maharashtra where the BJP chose to break its 25-year-old alliance with the Shiv Sena to strike out on its own. The BJP’s gamble in these elections could redefine Maharashtra politics. For Congress, it is a test of its ability to arrest the slide.