CROWDED SPACE: Voters wait in queue to cast exercise their franchise at a polling station in Dimapur during the election to the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on February 27, 2018. In 2023, tenures of 9 state assemblies including Nagaland, are ending. (Morung File Photo)
New Delhi, December 11 (IANS): With the historic victory in Gujarat, the BJP has started staking claim to win the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Along with this, the party has also begun preparations for the Assembly elections to be held in 2023.
In fact, in 2023, assembly elections are also to be held in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana, apart from Northeast states Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram.
The government may also conduct the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir next year. If seen in this context, the elections to be held in these 10 states in 2023 will tell which party may have edge in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are also included in these 10 states, where the Congress government is in power. Ashok Gehlot is the Chief Minister in Rajasthan, while Bhupesh Baghel, who is close to the Congress high command, is the CM in Chhattisgarh.
It is a big challenge for the Congress to retain the government in these two states before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, while the BJP will also go all out to wrest the power from the Congress in these two states.
Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are also included in these states where the BJP currently has a government, but in the last assembly elections held in 2018 in both these states, the BJP had suffered a setback. The BJP this time does not want to miss out on getting majority in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, so it has started preparations for the elections in these two states well in advance.
In the last assembly elections held in Madhya Pradesh in 2018, the Congress ousted the BJP from power and Kamal Nath became the Chief Minister, but the Congress could not handle this mandate and a group of Congress MLAs led by Jyotiraditya Scindia broke away. After this, Shivraj Singh Chouhan of BJP again became the Chief Minister of the state. This time Jyotiraditya Scindia is a Union Minister in the Modi government and the BJP is claiming to win the elections with an absolute majority in the state.
No political party got a majority in the 2018 assembly elections in Karnataka. After the elections threw a hung assembly, B.S. Yeddyurappa was sworn in as Chief Minister by the Governor but he resigned after not being able to manage the majority.
After this Congress and JDS together formed the government in the state. Again because of the change in the political situation, the BJP formed the government in the state in 2019 and made B.S. Yediyurappa the Chief Minister, but in view of the strategy for the assembly elections to be held in 2023, the leadership in the state was changed in 2021 and B.S. Yediyurappa was replaced by Basavaraj Bommai as the Chief Minister.
But considering Yediyurappa's organisational ability and his political influence across state, the BJP high command also tried to send a clear message to the people of Karnataka by making him a member of the parliamentary board, the highest and most powerful decision-making body of the party.
This also shows that the 2023 Assembly election in Karnataka, where the BJP formed government for the first time in South India, is going to be crucial for the BJP.
Telangana currently ruled by TRS and headed by K. Chandrasekhar Rao as Chief Minister is trying to form a larger front with other opposition parties to defeat the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. But the BJP is claiming to defeat him in his own bastion Telangana in 2023.
Talking about the North-Eastern states, elections to the Legislative Assemblies are to be held in 2023 in Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram. Tripura is currently ruled by the BJP and as part of its election strategy, the BJP has changed the face of the Chief Minister in Tripura as well.
In Meghalaya and Nagaland, the BJP-backed government is in power, while in Mizoram, the Mizo National Front government is in power.
There is a direct fight between the BJP and the Congress in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. While in Karnataka, there will be a triangular contest between BJP, Congress and JDS, while in Telangana, there will be a triangular contest between TRS, Congress and BJP. In Tripura too, there is going to be a triangular fight between the BJP, the Congress and the Left Front.
BJP is also constantly trying to strengthen its mass base and organisation in Jammu and Kashmir, so that by forming a government on its own for the first time, it can give a political message to the people of the whole country.