The outcome of the Haryana assembly elections may not have immense resonance for the national politics but it will certainly be a test for several political majors - the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) - in the fray.
While the multi-cornered contest, with at least six players battling it out, has opened the possibilities of a split verdict, the electoral performance of the political majors will be of keen interest nationally.
A good showing by the BJP, a party which still lacks a dependable cadre in the state, will further enhance the stature of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since the party heavily banks on his charisma to woo the voters.
The BJP will also have an opportunity for the first time to firmly establish itself in Haryana. The party did extremely well in the Lok Sabha polls in Haryana winning 7 out of 8 seats it contested.
However, since several Congress leaders have jumped on to the BJP bandwagon, it remains to be seen how crucial they prove to its prospects and how the party handles them after the elections.
Its victory will also mean a focused approach for Haryana by the BJP-led Centre and may even prove to be political booster for the saffron party in the neighbouring Punjab where the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has always done its hand holding.
For the Congress, which is facing a strong anti-incumbency undercurrent and looks out of the race, a decent outing will be face saver.
The party which suffered heavy reverses nationally in the general elections can also hope to consolidate itself, drawing inspiration from the Haryana outcome.
On the state scenario, the Congress can remain a potent opposition provided it gets good number of seats. A good show will also prevent further desertions.
The poll outcome will also be significant for two time chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who is now clearly the most influential Jat leader at the national and state level.
For Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), a regional outfit, this assembly election is a do or die battle.
The party is passing through its worst phase following the sentencing of Chautala and his elder son, Ajay Singh, for 10 years jail each in a corruption case.
Once a part of the NDA, the INLD severed ties with the saffron party in the 2009 assembly polls and despite concerted efforts by Punjab chief minister, Parkash Singh Badal, it has not been get back into the alliance.
Subsequently, it has shown inclination to align with anti-BJP forces like Sharad Yadav’s Janta Dal (United), HD Deve Gowda’s Janta Dal (Secular) and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party.
The INLD can take consolation from the two seats it won during the Lok Sabha polls despite the absence of its top leadership.
But having remained out of power for 10 years and with Chautala being in jail, the party faces a serious crisis. Its cadres however look upbeat after Chautala’s whirlwind poll tour of the state.
The BSP which is regarded as a one-seat wonder on the Haryana scene is looking to increasing its vote percentage in Haryana.
Mayawati’s party is in danger of losing its status of a national party and must remain a recognised political party in at least four states to retain that status.
As per the Election Commission, a political party shall be treated as a recognised political party in a state if the total number of valid votes polled by all its contesting candidates in the assembly or Parliament is not less than 6% of the total number of valid votes polled by all the contesting candidates.
It should also have remain engaged in political activity continuously for five years and returned at least one MLA for every 30 members of the legislative assembly in the election.