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Haryana Assembly Elections: What is the Political ‘Hisaab-Kitaab’?

The BJP had won 47 out of 90 seats in the 2014 state elections. INLD had won 19 seats while Congress had bagged 15. 

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Editor: Abhishek Sharma | Camera: Sumit Badola

Haryana is all set to go to Assembly polls on 21 October.

Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora, in a press conference on Saturday, 21 September, announced that polls to all 90 seats of the Haryana Legislative Assembly will be held in a single phase. Counting for the same will take place on 24 October.

The state has 1.82 crore registered voters.

This is the first big electoral test for the BJP after its spectacular victory in the Lok Sabha elections in May.

This election is being dubbed as a test not just of BJP’s popularity but also of the ability of the Congress and others to mount a spirited campaign.

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For a state that makes up only two percent of the country’s population, there are a lot of parties fighting for a slice of the Haryana cake! A useful way of analysing Haryana’s politics is by viewing BJP on one side and all other parties on the other.

The ruling BJP had come into power in the last election in 2014 with 47 out of 90 seats. Om Prakash Chautala’s INLD had won 19, while the Congress managed 15.

The BJP had won 47 out of 90 seats in the 2014 state elections. INLD had won 19 seats while Congress had bagged 15. 
The Election Commission, on Saturday, announced the dates for the state Assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra along with the last date for filing nominations. 
(Photo: The Quint)

Why Does it Seem Like BJP Vs the Rest ?

The violent Jat agitation in February 2016 not only exposed the sorry state of law & order in Haryana but also damaged the social harmony of the state. It appeared then as if a strong grip on the state’s law & order wasn’t first time chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s cup of tea.

But the BJP, which won 33 percent of the votes in the 2014 state elections, swept all 10 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 and secured a whopping 58 percent of the vote share. This certainly propelled Khattar as the party’s CM candidate.

Amit Shah has made a “Mission 75” appeal in Haryana – a mission to win 75 of the 90 seats in the state Assembly.

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Can a Divided Congress Unite Before the Polls?

As of now, it seems the Congress can mount a serious challenge to the BJP only after they manage to resolve their internal squabbles and differences.

The party has signaled a change in strategy by replacing Ashok Tanwar and naming former Union minister Kumari Shailja as president of Haryana state Congress.

Former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda represents the Jat community and by appointing him as leader of the legislative party, Congress appears to have made a soft signal of projecting Hooda as its CM face.

However, thanks to the grand old party’s own internal problems, there is still some confusion among voters about who Congress’ primary CM candidate is. Is it Hooda, Shailja or, perhaps, party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala?

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