Assembly elections 2017: Count on it, results will be verdict on Modi govt

An integral part of the BJP’s campaigns across the five states are banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sway the tide in the party’s favour as it works towards a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’

Officials on Saturday will begin counting votes from month-long elections in five states whose outcome could test Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ability to pursue tough economic reforms and see opposition parties forge new alliances at the national level.

Exit polls, which have a patchy record in India, show the Bharatiya Janata Party will storm to power in at least three states, including the political bellwether, Uttar Pradesh.

That would come as vindication of Modi’s policies, including the controversial decision to recall 500-and 1000-rupee banknotes, and boost his chances for a second term in the national elections in 2019. A strong showing by his party will also provide fresh impetus to politically unpalatable but industry-friendly labour and land reforms.

The elections are also crucial for a clutch of smaller parties such as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is seeking to expand its national footprint. Exit polls forecast a neck-and-neck race between Congress and the AAP in Punjab, where the ruling coalition, of which the BJP is a member, faces a drubbing.

Polls also predicted that Modi’s party would retain power in Goa and take Uttarakhand from the Congress, and put the BJP narrowly ahead in Manipur. Such results could signal the BJP’s slogan of “Congress-mukt Bharat” still has resonance on the ground.

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Source By http://www.hindustantimes.com

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