Parties hail announcement of poll dates
Various political parties on Wednesday welcomed the announcement of assembly elections in five states with BJP exuding confidence of victory due to the “positive undercurrent” post demonetisation and Congress urging Election Commission to ensure free and fair polls. “State elections are fought largely on the state-level issues...(but) there is a positive undercurrent for BJP across the country which is what we have seen post-demonetisation.
“There is a strong undercurrent. Therefore, we expect to win all the states...our stakes are the lowest, but our gains are going to be highest,” BJP national spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said.
To drive his point, Rao cited the examples of the party’s impressive show in the recently held by-elections and civic polls, particularly in Gujarat and Maharashtra. He said BJP is now going to be an “important player” in the poll-bound states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur. Stating that BJP did not enjoy a big strength in Manipur earlier, he said, his party has done really well in the by-elections there.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala described the polls to the five states including Uttarakhand and Manipur, where his party will seek another term in row, as a ‘yagna’ of democracy and urged the EC to ensure “free, fair and independent polls”.
“We also hope that the use of muscle power, abuse of government power and misuse of money power will be checked once and for all and it will be good for democracy,” he said, while welcoming the poll schedule. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, whose AAP is fancying chances of clinching power in Punjab and Goa, claimed the situation in the two states, where the BJP is in power or sharing it, is “bad” and people want to bring in an “honest” government led by his party in the upcoming polls.