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Election Special

Assembly Elections 2018: Key players and key issues

Currently, BJP is ruling Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, while Telangana Rashtra Samithi is ruling Telangana and Mizoram is ruled by Congress.


The winter before the mega battle of 2019 Lok Sabha election has heated up with the assembly elections in the five key states- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram. Earlier this month, the elections commission announced the dates for polling for every state. The elections in these states will be held between November and December. The results of all the five assembly elections will be announced simultaneously on December 11.

The assembly elections in these states are given maximum impetus as the campaigning and results will set the tone for the 2019 General Elections. Currently, BJP is ruling Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, while Telangana Rashtra Samithi is ruling Telangana and Mizoram is ruled by Congress. The BJP is fighting a strong anti-incumbency in all the three states ruled by the party while TRS and Congress are putting efforts to retain the power against BJP’s victory chariot in recent assembly polls.

Here are the key players and key issues in the upcoming assembly elections:


Madhya Pradesh:

  • Key Players

The state which is also called as the “Heart of India” has been a breeding ground for some of the biggest names in India’s politics. Currently, the Chief Minister of state Shivraj Singh Chauhan is facing strong anti-incumbency after almost a decade of rule. However, Chauhan still enjoys a reputation of a pro-development and commoner person. Apart from Chauhan, Congress’ campaign chief Jyotiraditya Scindia, state Congress chief Kamal Nath and former chief minister of the state Digvijaya Singh are in a fray.

madhya Pradesh

  • Key Issues

Farm distress is the biggest issue that will play a major role in the upcoming assembly election. Since the farmer’s agitation in Mandsaur for loan waiver met with the police firing, the farmers in the state have seemingly turned against the ruling BJP. Corruption is another major issue. The Vyapam scam (a board which selects candidates for government posts through competitive exams), Scholarship Scam both unearthed in 2013 also suggested a possible involvement of the Chief Minister of the state. Congress is banking on these scams to prove that the BJP govt in the state is corrupt. The water crisis in the rural areas is also one of the issues that will play important role in the polls. The discontent among the educated youths of the state may also prove to be a key issue.  As per the 2017 economic survey report, at least 14.1 lakh youth are unemployed, of which nearly 12.9 lakh are educated.



  • Key Players:

Rajasthan is one of the few states that kept the ball rolling between the two national parties- Congress and BJP. However, under the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, BJP is aiming to make a comeback. It is also the state where BJP swept all Lok Sabha seats. Congress, on the other hand, is trying to cash on the anti-incumbency factor to return to power. The key players in the state apart from CM Vasundhara Raje Scindia is Congress’ senior guard and former CM Ashok Gehlot and RPCC chief Sachin Pilot.


  • Key Issues:

Like in the neighbouring poll-bound state Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan too is facing a severe farm distress. After Mandsaur, Rajasthan also saw a score of farm agitations. For farmers, higher MSP and farm load waiver still remains the major issue. On the other hand, the incidents of hate crimes have been on rising in the state. The state government has proved to be a failure when it came to curbing such incidents. The Rajputs who constitute the majority in the state have been upset with the state govt over the Padmavati controversy. Several Rajput leaders were booked for the violence during the memorial meeting held for slain gangster Anandpal Singh at his village Sanvard in July last year. Upset over the incident, the Rajputs have even vowed not to vote for the party again.



  • Key Players:

The state situated in central India is majorly dominated by tribal and Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe population. Nearly one-third of the state’s population are Scheduled Tribes while 11.6 % are Scheduled Castes. The key player in the fray remains Chief minister Raman Singh who has 15 years of uninterrupted BJP rule to quote and a clean image. On the other hand, former CM of Chhattisgarh who left the party to form his own Janata Congress- Ajit Jogi is considered to be the real ‘kingmaker’ this time. He has a considerable hold over state’s tribal vote bank and Satnami SC community. Bupesh Bhagel, a Kurmi, and Tamradhwaj Sahu will be among the prominent faces for the Congress’ election campaign. While Sahu is a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body, Bhagel is the party’s state chief.

  • Key Issues:

The state full of natural resources, forests and minerals is also a den for Naxalites. After a period of working under the sheets, the Maoist ultras have resurfaced with attacks on security forces. The attack on CRPF jawans in the state’s Sukma district accounted for 25 lives highlighting the perilous nature of the operation. Poverty is another major issue of the state. Around 47.9% of the state’s population is below the poverty line, the highest among all Indian states, according to the report by the Rangarajan Panel. Though there were not any major corruption cases that hit the state govt over the years, few like Augusta Westland and PDS scam are one of the few that have dented the reputation of the government.



  • Key Players:

In the hill state, the key contest is between Congress and Mizo National Front. From Congress, the CM of Mizoram Lal Thanhawla is the key player. He has been the Chief Minister of Mizoram since 11 December 2008. Previously he was Chief Minister from 1984 to 1986 and from 1989 to 1998. He was elected to another term in the 2013 Mizoram Legislative Assembly election. This was the fifth time he was elected to the office of Chief Minister, which is a record in the state. Zoramthanga, the leader of the Mizo National Front is the main opposition to Thanhawla. He was the fifth Chief Minister of Mizoram, from December 1998 to December 2008, for two consecutive terms.


  • Key Issues:

Like Assam, illegal immigration in Mizoram from neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal has become one of the most important issues. The poor infrastructure development in the state under the Congress rule will also prove to be going against the incumbent Congress government. Poverty and unemployment are also important issues, with 20.40% of the population living below the poverty line in 2011-12.



  • Key Players:

In the 5 years old state, the regional party TRS dominates the political scenario. The current chief minister of the state, KCR is the most popular politician in the state. The main opposition party in the state Congress is banking upon current state chief of the party Uttam Kumar Reddy. He represents the Huzurnagar constituency as a member of the legislative assembly of Telangana. The state has a significant amount of Muslim population and the Hyderabad based AIMIM enjoys the maximum support in the Muslim population. AIMIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi enjoys quite a popularity among Muslim population of the state.


  • Key Issues:

Though Telangana is a fast urbanising state, the state has a considerable amount of tribal population. Hyderabad is the developed city but the development hasn’t been spread equally around the state. The presidential assent to the amendment in Telangana BCs, SC & STs (reservation of seats in educations institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Bill, 2017 is also one of the important issues.


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News Desk