4 states to go to polls in October

Congress president Sonia Gandhi with women and child development minister Krishna Tirath during the launch of Ahimsa Messenger

Congress president Sonia Gandhi with women and child development minister Krishna Tirath during the launch of Ahimsa Messenger

Assembly elections in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram will be held in October and a notification in this regard will be issued next month, likely in the third week. This was indicated by a highly-placed source in the government.
While the term of these Assemblies will expire in December this year, the term of the Chhattisgarh Assembly will end on January 4, 2014. The Election Commission could advance the Chhattisgarh polls by clubbing it with Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram.
These elections will see a straight fight between the Congress and the BJP, barring Mizoram. While the Congress is in power in Delhi, Rajasthan and Mizoram, the BJP has been ruling Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh since 2003.
Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit will create a record of sorts if she retains power for a fourth term successively. She is the only woman CM of the Congress ruling the national capital since 1998.
The Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh chief ministers — Mr Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Mr Raman Singh — will be equated to Gujarat chief Narendra Modi if they win the Assembly polls for a third time. These elections are unlikely to be confined to the states as national issues and the performance of the Centre will certainly reflect on the electoral battle.
Interestingly, the projection of a chief ministerial candidate will not be an issue in these five states for the simple reason that the incumbent chief ministers — Sheila Dikshit, Ashok Gehlot, Pu Lalthanhawla (Mizoram) of the Congress and Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raman Singh (BJP) — will be leading the poll battle from the front.
While the Congress is yet to address this issue in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where the CM aspirants are increasing, the BJP continues to remain faceless in Delhi.
These elections will also see whether the BJP’s prime ministerial aspirant, Mr Narendra Modi, would be a vote catcher outside Gujarat. Regional players in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are yet to emerge as an alternative to the ruling party.

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