Assembly elections polling 2019: Enrich festival of democracy, tweets PM Modi as Haryana, Maharashtra go to polls
By-polls are also being held in as many as 51 assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 17 states and one Union territory on Monday.Updated: Oct 21, 2019 08:03 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged people, especially the young, to come out and vote in large numbers as polling began for the assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana.
By-polls are also being held in as many as 51 assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 17 states and one Union territory on Monday.
“Elections are taking place for Haryana and Maharashtra assemblies. There are also by-polls taking place in various parts of India. I urge voters in these states and seats to turnout in record numbers and enrich the festival of democracy. I hope youngsters vote in large numbers,” the Prime Minister tweeted in the morning.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seen as having it easy in both Haryana and Maharashtra as the opposition has either been absent or tackling dissent within.
The ruling BJP is contesting on 150 seats and its ally Shiv Sena on 124 constituencies in the 288-member assembly in Maharashtra. The BJP’s alliance partners have fielded 14 candidates on the party’s lotus symbol.
The Congress is in alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the Maharashtra assembly polls. Both the parties are contesting 125 seats each leaving 40 for smaller parties, including the Samajwadi Party, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana of Raju Shetti and the Communist Party of India (CPI).
The BJP will be contesting the 90 assembly constituencies in Haryana alone with the party banking on the clean image of chief minister Manohar Khattar and the development works done by his government. The party is also banking on the Modi government’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir and its central welfare schemes.
It had won 47 assembly seats in Haryana and for the first time formed the government on its own since the state was carved out of Punjab on November 1, 1966. The BJP has set a target of winning more than 75 seats in the northern state this year.
The BJP’s key contender in Haryana is the Congress, which saw knives drawn out between senior leaders as the party grappled with internal squabbles over the state leadership after the BJP dethroned it in the 2014 polls.
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), led by Om Prakash Chautala, is the third factor and has also seen a split with the emergence of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP).
In the by-polls being held, the maximum number of seats—11—are in Uttar Pradesh, followed by six in Gujarat, five in Bihar, four in Assam and two each in Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Punjab (4 seats), Kerala (5 seats), Sikkim (3 seats), Rajasthan (two seats) and one seat each in Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, Meghalaya and Telangana will also witness by-elections.
The results will be announced on October 24.