Elections to various legislatures of Indian states are underway amid a slowdown in the economy and in the aftermath of the demonetization of higher currency which had shocked the nation last year.
The demonetization has had a crucial impact on these elections. Even though it was business as usual, cash crunch clearly showed in the campaign festivities. It was this reason perhaps which brought the Indian National Congress and Samajwadi Party together. And this can be well-made ridings choppy for the ruling BJP at the center.
Indeed the BJP seems to be the pet target this election season. The Aam Aadmi Party has made it its mission to only fight elections where the BJP is currently in power. The other opposition parties getting together to fight the BJP is not helping them either. In Punjab, the party has virtually given up, outsourcing the elections to its ally, Shrimoni Akali Dal.
In Goa and U.P., the party is still fuzzy about who its major leader is. In Uttarakhand, the party has left the electioneering majorly to desserters from the Indian National Congress. In Manipur, it is again hopeful of dissidents to come to it and form a government.
One person who is already gaining ground is Akhilesh Yadav. He has asserted his position in his party and the endorsement from the Congress has helped build his stature in the state politics. By fighting with the older generation of the party, he has cleverly distanced himself from the negative, crime friendly image of the Samajwadi Party. Although he is a strong contender to win U.P. again, even if he doesn't, he has earned a place for himself as a major player in state politics.
The B.S.P. is on the slippery ground too. Gone are the days of cash garlands for its chief. (For obvious reasons.) It is working out of the limelight to gain back power but the whole campaign looks drab.
The Aam Aadmi party is gaining ground much to the sadness of Indian democracy. Punjab is known to deliver a decisive mandate and so does Goa. If the party wins in these states, things will not be good for the people.
The elections are a tight race this time around with too many players and too less favorites. Do comment in, about your thoughts.