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Assembly elections 2014: Haryana, Maharashtra brace up for counting day

The results will not only decide the winner in the two states but will also have far reaching implications for the political fortunes of several leaders.

Shikha Pushpan | http://ShikhaPushpan

Updated:October 18, 2014, 11:03 PM IST
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Assembly elections 2014: Haryana, Maharashtra brace up for counting day
The results will not only decide the winner in the two states but will also have far reaching implications for the political fortunes of several leaders.

New Delhi: Just a little over five months after the results of 16th Lok Sabha elections were declared, another political slugfest will be decided on Sunday when results for Haryana and Maharashtra assemblies will be declared.

The results will not only decide the winner in the two states but will also have far reaching implications for the political fortunes of several leaders some of whom stare at a bleak future after being convicted and jailed in corruption cases. When counting of votes take place on Sunday, October 19, in one of the most interesting elections in the history of both Haryana and Maharashtra, all eyes will be on Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is expected to deliver both the states into Bharatiya Janata Party's kitty.

Both the 90-member Haryana Assembly and 288-member Maharashtra Assembly are witnessing a close contest between all the main political parties. Apart from the regional politics these states witnessed in the past decades, there is this undeniable 'Modi factor' which too is facing the litmus test in the first Assembly polls after elections to the 16th Lok Sabha.

While in Haryana, the 'scam tainted' Congress is trying hard to retain power, opposition Indian National Lok Dal is making sure that it storms its way to Chandigarh after a decade of Hooda rule. The Chautalas are pulling out all their cards to come back to power. The court's orders to send back INLD chief OP Chautala to jail is likely to generate sympathy votes for the party. Amidst these traditional players of Haryana is the Bharatiya Janata Party which is looking to cash in on its Lok Sabha performance riding on Modi's popularity.

The political scene gets even hotter in Maharashtra where former allies are competing against each other to prove their mettle as individual players. The end of Shiv Sena-BJP and Congress-NCP ties has resulted in four-legged battle in Maharashtra. While the Congress and NCP are braving anti-incumbency factor, former allies Shiv Sena and BJP contesting alone can make a dent in their respective poll prospects.

The Narendra Modi factor

It was Narendra Modi versus rest in the Lok Sabha elections. Five months after the landslide victory, Modi is trying hard to make it a BJP versus rest contest in both the states. In an attempt to paint both the states with saffron hues, Modi held over 30 mega rallies in both the states.

BJP had just four MLAs in the Haryana Assembly after 2009 Assembly elections. Campaigning in the run up polls showed that the party was relying heavily on Modi's midas touch.

But Congress and INLD have rubbished the Modi wave in the state. According to them, Haryana Assembly elections are going to be a neck and neck fight between the Congress and INLD while the BJP will not be in the scene anywhere. But exit polls have predicted a clear BJP surge in the state and INLD coming second.

Things look better for BJP in Maharashtra where it was the third largest party in the 2009 Assembly elections with 46 seats. Congress had 82 seats, NCP 62 and Shiv Sena 44. BJP's decision to call it quits with Sena was viewed by many as its overconfidence to pull off the elections on 'Modi wave'. Exit polls have predicted that the Congress will be decimated in these elections and the BJP will have the largest contingent of MLAs.

The NCP, which had called off its alliance with the Congress just minutes after the Shiv Sena-BJP split, is trying to bank in on the anti-incumbency votes against its former ally. Even though the NCP and Shiv Sena have not talked about any tie-up, a partnership between the two post results should not come as a surprise as there could not be a better chance to oust national parties like BJP and Congress from Maharashtra.

Maharashtra key candidates:

Congress
Prithviraj Chavan: South Karad
Praniti Shinde: Solapur City Central
Narayan Rane: Kudal
Nitesh Rane: Kankavali
Nationalist Congress Party
Ajit Pawar: Baramati
Chhagan Bhujbal: Yeola
Bharatiya Janata Party
Pankaja Munde: Parli
Devendra Fadnavis: Nagpur South West
Shiv Sena
Subhash Desai: Goregaon
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena
Bala Nandgaonkar: Sewri

Haryana key candidates:
Congress
Bhupinder Singh Hooda - Garhi Sampla - Kiloi
Kuldeep Sharma - Gannaur
Savitri Jindal - Hisar
Randeep Singh Surjewala - Kaithal
Sampath Singh - Nalwa
Captain Ajay Yadav - Rewari
Kiran Chaudhury - Tosham
Geeta Bhukkal - Jhajjar

INLD
Abhay Singh Chautala - Ellenabad
Naina Singh Chautala - Dabawali
Dushyant Singh Chautala - Uchana Kalan
Ashok Arora - Thanesar

BJP
Capt. Abhimanyu - Narnaund
Ram Bilas Sharma - Mahendragarh
Vandana Sharma - Safidon

OTHERS
Kudip Bishnoi - Adampur - HJC
Chander Mohan - Nalwa - HJC
Renuka Bishnoi - Hansi - HJC
Gopal Kanda - Sirsa - HLP
Venod Sharma - Ambala City - HJC
Arvind Sharma - Yamunanagar and Rai - BSP

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