The campaign for the five State Assembly elections has peaked. The election results for Mizoram will be influenced by the local politics of the State. The other four elections of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi will have a major impact on India’s politics. They will lay down a road-map for next year’s General elections for the Lok Sabha.
Madhya Pradesh under Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan Ji has been a turn-around story. In 2003, the Congress was defeated. Its two term government led by Digvijay Singh failed on the development front. Bijli, Sadak, Pani were the issues. Today Madhya Pradesh has evolved out of the ‘Bimaru’ status. Its’ road network has hugely improved. It is in a position to provide a near 24 hour electricity in all districts of the State. It will soon be power surplus. Irrigation has improved substantially. It has a record agricultural growth rate. It is now competing with Punjab as the principal food grain producer of India. The State Budget has increased several times over. The social welfare schemes in the State have been successful. Shivraj Ji enjoys a tall image in the State and is benefiting from the pro- incumbency in governance.
The PDS system, the health welfare schemes, the bonus paid to farmers to enhance rice production has immensely succeeded in Chhattisgarh. The State has waged a battle against Maoism. It has hugely benefited from the NDA’s decision to carve out a smaller separate State. Dr. Raman Singh is perceived as a pro Aam Admi legend.
The Congress in Delhi and Rajasthan suffers from a double anti-incumbency. As a national capital , the Delhi election is influenced both by local issues and national politics. The several Lokayukta reports against the Delhi government, the 300 percent increase in power tariff, the 1100 percent rise in water bills, inflation and a series of scams have all dented the Congress image in Delhi substantially.
The lackluster image of Congress leadership in Rajasthan coupled with the non-performance of the State Government is going to add to the Congress woes.
I won’t be surprised if the Congress gets a drubbing in all the four States. If that were to happen, the Central Government will be reduced to a lame duck.