5 States That Are Going Into Elections In 2016: Updates

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5 states are due for a brand new Assembly this year and each one seems more exciting than the next. With the BJP aiming to extend its influence throughout the country, regional parties are going to try and hold onto their states with everything they have…

1. Assam

(Current Assembly expires on 6th May 2016)

  • Congress’ Tarun Gogoi has been the Chief Minister of Assam since 2001. According to him, this year’s election will be a showdown between him and PM Modi.
  • His direct rival is BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate, Sarbananda Sonowal.
  • BJP needs a 2/3rd majority to break the Congress’ stranglehold in Assam.
  • Regional parties have a strong influence in Assam, and so the BJP is likely to form an alliance with the regional Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).
  • Assam is BJP’s best chance at redemption after the embarrassment in Bihar.

2. Tamil Nadu

(Current Assembly expires on 22nd May 2016)

  • Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government is in power in Tamil Nadu and enjoys continued support in the state.
  • BJP can merely hope to increase its influence in Tamil Nadu.
  • The possibility of a BJP-AIADMK alliance will be the most lucrative option for the BJP, but it has also expressed an interest in forming alliances with other regional parties like the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).
  • Meanwhile, a Congress-DMK alliance was announced in the first week of February.

3. West Bengal

(Current Assembly expires on 29th May 2016)

  • West Bengal is currently under the All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
  • Opposition parties include:
    • Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA)
    • Communist Party of India (M)-led Left Front, whose 34-year reign in the state ended in 2011 by Banerjee’s AITMC
    • BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA)
  • Despite being past rivals, the Left Front and the Congress are considering forming an alliance to improve their chances of winning.
  • Meanwhile, the AITMC and BJP are possibly looking to form an alliance either before the elections or form a coalition after the results are announced.

4. Kerala

(Current Assembly expires on 31st May 2016)

  • The Congress in Kerala is split in two – The ruling Congress’ United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) led Left Democratic Front (LDF).
  • The UDF currently dominates Kerala’s Assembly under Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s government.
  • Historically, BJP’s “saffron politics” have not worked in Kerala and they have never formed a government in the state. However, they are still fielding candidates here.
  • Eventually, this state election will probably boil down to a Congress vs. Congress

5. Pondicherry

(Current Assembly expires on 2nd June 2016)

  • Pondicherry is classified as a Union territory and not a state. However, it still has a legislative assembly.
  • The present Assembly is led by N. Rangaswamy’s All India NR Congress.
  • The ruling party’s main competitors:
    • Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)
    • All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)
    • Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK)

All these prospects promise for a nail-biting contest, as unexpected alliances are likely to be formed and regional politics become more critical than ever.

Stay tuned to WTD News for further updates on alliances and the polls.

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