Dates for assembly polls in 5 states to be announced today


Election Commission is likely to address conference at noon on Wednesday in Delhi to announce election dates for upcoming Assembly polls in five states including Uttar Pradesh Punjab and Goa.

The states going for polls are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur. While the term of the UP assembly ends on 27 May, in other states the terms expire in March.

Uttar Pradesh with 403 seats is the most important among all states going for polls. The BJP had swept the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 by winning 71 out of 80 seats. These polls will be held in the shadow of demonetisation effects. Anything less than forming a government in the state will spell disaster for the BJP’s central leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In Punjab, the government led by the BJP and Akali Dal combine will face challenges from Aam Aadmi Party and Congress party.

Goa, where the BJP is in power, will too see a triangular contest with the saffron party being challenged for electoral supremacy from the Congress and AAP.

The Congress will have its task cut out in Uttarakhand, one of the last few remaining states, where the party is in power. The party was badly affected by defection of senior leaders to the BJP camp last year, when the Centre’s BJP government imposed the President’s Rule.

Congress party will also look to defend its government in Manipur, which has been a centre of massive political controversy because of the economic blockade of the state by the United Naga Council. The BJP may like to extend its electoral victory in the north-east by forming its first ever government here.