Voters decide in five key Indian states

By Abhimanyu Sharma

Five of India’s key states are witnessing a pitched electoral battle in which the Bharatiya Janata Party is hoping to retain power in all these states despite stiff resistance from a resurgent opposition.

The Assembly Elections polling is underway in 5 states comprising Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Manipur.

The voting for assembly elections is underway in 7 phases in Uttar Pradesh which began on the 10th of February and ended on the 7th of March. And Yogi Adityanath is the incumbent Chief Minister in UP. He is the head priest of the Goraknath Math, a Hindu temple in Gorakhpur.

Additionally, Punjab, Goa, and Uttarakhand elections took place in a single phase. Manipur elections were carried out in 2 phases. One on the 27th of February and the other on March 3.

Uttar Pradesh Elections
Prominent parties in the UP Elections this time are the Samajwadi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, and Bahujan Samaj Party. Out of which, the BJP is the incumbent government in Uttar Pradesh. The Samajwadi Party is hoping to wrest control to form its government.

The Uttar Pradesh elections were held between the 10th of February to 7th of March 2022. Polling was held in seven phases to elect 403 members of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

Yogi Adityanath contested from the Gorakhpur Assembly segment, even though there were speculations that he might fight the battle from Ayodhya. Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav is contesting from Karhal Assembly Constituency that falls under their traditional bastion of Mainpuri.

Some of the most prominent figures in this UP Election is Dharam Singh Saini, a former government minister for Yogi Adityanath who defected to the Samajwadi Party just before the polls. Saini tried contesting from the Nakur Assembly Segment.

Further, Mohammad Azam Khan a senior SP leader was fielded from his bastion Rampur while Suresh Khanna, UPs Finance Minister was fielded from Shahjahanpur.

Punjab Elections
Some of the most prominent figures in the Punjab elections are Captain Amarinder Singh who resigned from the Congress over certain differences and was replaced by Charanjit Singh Channi. And on the 2nd of November 2021, Captain Amarinder Singh founded a new political party called the Punjab Lok Congress.

The Punjab Legislative Assembly was held on the 20th of February 2022 to elect 117 members of the Punjab Legislative Assembly. And according to the Punjab Election Commission, Punjab has 2,14,99,804 registered voters and 1,304 candidates.

Additionally, the Aam Aadmi Party announced Bhagwant Mann as their Chief Ministerial Candidate for the elections. Following which Congress leader Rahul Gandhi declared Charanjit Singh Channi as the Chief Ministerial Candidate on the 6th of February.

Uttarakhand Elections
The Bharatiya Janata Party is currently in power and is hoping to retain it. However, Congress is looking forward to making a comeback in these elections.

The Uttarakhand elections were held on the 14th of February 2022 to elect all of the 70 members of the Uttarakhand Assembly.

Some of the prominent figures in the Uttarakhand Elections are former Chief Minister Harish Rawat from the Congress, Yashpal Arya a former minister, and Ganesh Godiyal state union president. On the BJPs side, current Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and cabinet colleagues Dhan Singh Rawat, Satpal Maharaj, Yatishwarananda, Ganesh Joshi, Subodh Uniyal are prominent figures in the elections.

Additionally, Aam Aadmi Party is the new entrant in the Uttarakhand Elections and Ajay Kothiyal is the Chief Ministerial candidate.

Goa Elections
Goa is currently undergoing a multi-cornered election contest, with parties like the Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, and other smaller parties trying to make an entrance into the electoral scene.

The Goa Legislative Assembly Elections were held on the 14 of February 2022 to battle for 40 seats in the Goa Legislative Assembly.

The most prominent parties in the Goa Elections are the National Democratic Alliance, United Progressive Alliance, Aam Aadmi Party, All India Trinamool Congress, and the Nationalist Congress Party.

Some prominent figures of the Goa elections are current chief minister Pramod Sawant of the BJP, Amit Palekar the AAP CM candidate contested from St.Cruz, Churchill Alemao the former CM and leader of All India Trinamool Congress, and Digambar Kamat the former CM and INC leader contested from Margao.

Manipur Elections
The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) along with security issues dominated the political narrative in the run up to the Assembly Elections in Manipur.

The Manipur elections were held in two phases between the 28th of February and the 5th of March to elect all 60 members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly.

Some prominent parties and alliances in these elections are the National Democratic Alliance, Manipur Progressive Secular Alliance which combines the Indian National Congress (INC) and Communist Party of India. Followed by the Naga People’s Front and National People’s Party.

The most prominent candidates in the Manipur elections are current Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Yumnan Joykumar the Deputy Chief Minister and NPP Candidate, Y Khemchand Singh the Assembly Speaker, and N Lokesh Singh the Manipur Congress President.

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