DC Edit | Mega battle begins for 5 states

Update: 2023-10-09 20:00 GMT
The five states would go to polls across November. (PTI File Image)

The Election Commission of India ended the suspense and all speculation about the schedule of the elections to the five states Assemblies due for the year-end, marking the official start of the biggest electoral battle of 2023, a key year, ahead of the next year's General Elections.

The five states would go to polls across November. Chhattisgarh would go to the polls in two phases owing to security reasons on (November 7 and 17), while the remaining four in a single phase, Mizoram (November 7), Madhya Pradesh (November 17), Rajasthan (November 23), and Telangana on November 30. The counting and declaration of results would be held on December 3 and the entire polling process closed by December 5, though the term of some of these state assemblies end only in January next year.

The five states together represent a Lok Sabha footprint fight of 83 seats — MP (29), Chattisgarh (11), Rajasthan (25), Telangana (17) and Mizoram (1), with the three Hindi heartland states being a straight fight between the two major national parties — the BJP and Congress. The Congress won all the three states in the last round but BJP came to power in MP, though the GoP continues to govern in Rajasthan and Chattisgarh.

Telangana and Mizoram have regional parties at the helm — the Bharata Rashtra Samithi (BRS, formerly TRS) and Mizo National Front; and the presence of others parties, from the communists to BSP or AAP being negligible in this round of elections, though the AIMIM is a force in the Old City of Hyderabad and its nearby pockets.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar also clarified that these are the last state Assembly elections to be held before the next Lok Sabha elections. With the declaration of the schedule, the model code of conduct has come into force in these five states.

As ever, with any Indian election, the logistics are humongous. Over 16 crore voters would be in the voters’ list, and could vote in one of the over 1.77 lakh polling stations. The fate of these five states would be decided by over 8.2 crore male voters and over 7.8 crore female voters, including over 60.2 lakh first-time voters.

Let us all look forward to another round of democratic face-off, in which voters will hopefully participate in great numbers, vote freely and fairly, oblivious to illegal and immoral allurements, and in the end, let us hope only the best leaders and parties win.


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