Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Assembly Elections 2016: The impact will be felt nationally and here is why

NK Bhoopesh | May 18, 2016 5:58 pm Print
Counting to five assembly elections will start Thursday morning. The results will have direct bearing on the national politics as well
Mamata banerjee

19 May like 16 May,  two summers back is going to be a big day for Indian politics.

16 May 2014 changed Indian politics like  never before.

A party other than Congress got simple majority to rule the country for the first time.

After that Delhi and Bihar bucked the 2014 trend and voted  anti- BJP parties to power.

As counting of votes in the five state assembly election begins on Thursday morning, the big question that is being asked is-Will it be repeat of 16  May ’14?  Or will 19 May pave way for a Grand Alliance against the BJP?

More than the alliance, for political parties like Congress, CPI(M) and the DMK, the stakes are high to the point that the verdict will point towards whether some of these parties will retain their political relevance or not.

Counting of votes is slated to start at 8 am on Thursday and the early trends are likely to emerge by 9. The final picture will be clear by noon.

Exit polls have suggested a change of guard in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam with DMK, Left, and BJP winning these states respectively.

Except for one survey, all others have predicted a DMK come back in Tamil Nadu.

Contrary to all the pre-election reports that predicted doom for Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress, all exit polls predicted the incumbent government will retain power in West Bengal.

Psephologists seems to have a consensus on Kerala. All the major exit polls have predicted a Left victory in Kerala.

Going by the exit poll results, it may seem that local issues, not national debates have influenced the voters. But this election is definitely is going to have a big impact, on national politics.

1  If BJP wins Assam polls, as the exit polls say, the biggest winner in the 2016 election will be that party. It may be gateway for the saffron party to reach out to the other north eastern states.

2 Winning some seats in West Bengal will make BJP stronger. But the real shot in the arm would be opening an account in Kerala.

3  The election results wont change the arithmetic in the Rajya Sabha, BJP will continue to be at the mercy of the opposition parties when it comes to passage of  key legislation in the Upper House.

4 Loss of Assam will definitely dampen the spirits of Congress, especially when it tries to pose a serious challenge in next year’s UP election.

5  Loss of Kerala to Left, may lead to another set of leaders taking on the reins of the Congress party in Kerala, since Oomen Chandy will find it difficult to be the face of the party in the southern state.

6  This election is more  important to the CPI(M) than anyone else. Winning both Bengal and Kerala will definitely be seen as a resurgence of the Left. But a loss in both states may push the party into wilderness. Winning Kerala will help salvage some of party’s lost prestige.

7 Victory in Bengal and Kerala will strengthen General Secretary Sitaram Yechury within the party. His voice will carry greater weight in the party which has been witnessing  ideological tussle between him and Prakash Karat, his predecessor, on various issues. A loss in Bengal and win in Kerala, will strengthen anti-Yechury faction within the CPI(M), since the Kerala unit has taken anti- Yechury position on various political and ideological issues confronting the party.

8  A loss in Tamil Nadu will put DMK in a precarious condition. It will be forced to make desperate attempts to stay relevant in Tamil Nadu politics.  In the next elections it is almost sure that the party will be headed by Stalin, the son of M. Karunanidhi.

9 A victory for AIADMK will be akin to making history of sorts by J Jayalalithaa. After 1989, no party could win the election bucking anti-incumbency.

10 BJP getting couple or even a seat in Kerala is likely to herald a change in the see-saw politics where the southern state is alternatively ruled by the Left and the Congress.

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