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Do Central leaders impact Assembly polls?

Do Central leaders impact Assembly polls?
May 03
11:10 2021

NEW DELHI: As the counting for assembly elections in four states and one union territory is nearing conclusion, it is clear that the TMC in West Bengal, NDA in Assam and LDF in Kerala are poised to retain their governments in the states for one more term.

It is also clear that the DMK-led alliance is going to defeat the ruling AIADMK and form the government in Tamil Nadu, while NR Congress-led NDA will form the government in Puducherry for the next term.

The campaigns leading up to the polls were a star-studded affair for both the BJP and Congress, the two national parties, but the results at hand suggest that people in most places favoured their local politician based on their performances in the last five years. The BJP, which performed better than the Congress, managed to ensure National Democratic Alliance (NDA) victory in Assam and Puducherry.

In both states, senior-most BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party chief JP Nadda held huge roadshows and public meetings. While their impact could be seen in Assam, in Puducherry BJP managed to win only five seats and might win one more. The NDA’s victory is largely riding on the popularity of its alliance partner NR Congress.

NR Congress alone has managed to secure 10 seats in the Puducherry assembly polls. In Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where BJP’s campaigning was mostly driven by national leaders, the party performed below average.

In Kerala, it was not even able to open its account while in Tamil Nadu it won just one seat and might win three more. In West Bengal too Prime Minister’s clarion call of ‘Khela Khatam’ was not able to deliver desired results for the party, but it did manage to perform better than the last Assembly election and secured 72 seats and is leading on five more.

Congress on the other hand that largely depended on Rahul Gandhi for campaigning did worse than BJP in overall performance. The party suffered defeats in Assam, Puducherry and Kerala where Gandhi’s campaigns against it made headlines.

The results in Kerala are a setback also for Gandhi who is an MP from Wayanad in the state. The defeat in the state came almost two years after the party-led UDF’s spectacular performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls when it won 19 of 20 seats. Both Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had campaigned in Kerala for assembly polls.

Congress failed to win a single seat in West Bengal, but then neglect towards the state showed they were not even expecting much there. Only in Tamil Nadu, where Congress is a junior ally of DMK, did Congress perform credibly riding on the success of its alliance partner DMK. (ANI) 

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