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Mudda grapples with the big question of who will win the assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh and Telangana

The Election Commission is all set to announce the dates for elections in five states—Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh and Telangana—at 3pm. Saturday’s edition of Mudda examined the chances of various parties in these elections. Himanshu Dixit led the discussion among Congressman Ajay Verma, BJP spokesperson Anand Sahoo, journalists Govind Pant Raju and Atul Chandra, former IAS officer SK Trivedi and former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi.

Verma spoke of the anti-incumbency factor coming to play in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Chandra spoke of how the joining of forces by Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia has strengthened the Congress in MP.

This is a make-and-break opportunity for Rahul Gandhi. It is his acid test and his chance to consolidate the gains in Karnataka and carry forward the good start in Gujarat. Only then can he prove himself to be a good leader, said Raju.

Trivedi focused on how the EC has called for reinforcements of troops in the Chhattisgarh-Odisha border around Gadchiroli to thwart attempts by Naxals to disrupt the polls.

At this point, Quraishi came in on the phone line to inform that VVPAT will be implemented in these polls. He also said there have been strong efforts to educate the voters since 10 years back.

Sahoo spoke of the good work done by the government in the areas of agriculture, education and health in the three BJP-ruled states. He claimed that all complaints regarding malfunctioning electronic voting machines were just cases of a bad workman complaining of his tools.

Raju felt that Sachin Pilot has achieved a good influence in Rajasthan but in MP infighting among Congress leaders has been a deterring factor. While campaigning should be issue-based, at the same time, national and state issues should not be conflated ahead of the general elections.

Chandra said Ajit Jogi joining up with Mayawati has made BSP a third horse in the race to the Chief Minister’s Office in Chhattisgarh.

Raju said the five state assembly elections will be a dress rehearsal for the general election.

                                                                                              —Compiled by Sucheta Dasgupta

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