Elections in India 2018: Polls are considered as festivals in India. In 2017, the largest democracy in the world witnessed a few elections, including crucial Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Gujarat Assembly polls and RK Nagar by-poll. 2018 will be crucial as it will be a penultimate year before the mother of all polls – 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah-led BJP has continued its winning streak in 2017, Congress will look to get back its mojo under the leadership of party president Rahul Gandhi. In India, elections generally take place almost every month even though PM Modi has advocated the idea of holding simultaneous elections to Parliament and state assemblies. In 2018, we will see BJP and Congress lock heads in crucial states like Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. There will be a few key Lok Sabha by-polls in politically crucial states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and West Bengal. In Maharashtra and West Bengal regional parties like Shiv Sena, NCP, TMC and CPM will play a pivotal role along with BJP and Congress.
Here are key dates, state assemblies, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha to go to polls
Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018 in April
224 seats of Karnataka Assembly will go to polls this year. The tenure of the assembly is set to end on 28.05.2018 and polling is expected to be held in April. Karnataka will be a crucial election for BJP and Congress. While Congress will look to set aside the anti-incumbency factor, BJP is eager to wrest the power keeping in mind the 28 valuable Lok Sabha seats which will be crucial in 2019.
Apart from Karnataka, assembly elections will be held in north-eastern states like Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland. Left bastion Tripura will also go to polls this year.
Meghalaya Assembly Elections 2018 in February
Meghalaya Assembly Elections 2018 are expected to be held in February.
Mizoram Assembly Elections 2018 in November
Mizoram Assembly Elections 2018 are expected to be held in November
Nagaland Assembly Elections 2018 in February
Nagaland Assembly Elections 2018 are expected to be held in February
Tripura Assembly elections 2018 in February
Tripura Assembly elections 2018 are expected to be held in February.
Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan assembly elections 2018 in November-December
In November-December, elections will be held in three politically crucial states of Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Tenures of these assemblies will end in January 2019. It will be the litmus test for BJP to hold onto power in these states. Congress, on the other hand, will look to upset the apple cart just before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Lok Sabha by-polls will be held in Ajmer in January-February. Polls in Alwar will be held on January 29 in 2018.
Lok Sabha by-polls will be held in Uluberia of West Bengal on January 29 in 2018.
Gorakhpur and Phulpur of Uttar Pradesh in January-February
Anantnag of Jammu and Kashmir in January-February
Araria of Bihar and Bhandara Gondiya of Maharashtra in January-February
Overall it will be a quite a bit of political drama to be played out as high-octane campaigns, witty rhetorics and duel between PM Modi and Rahul Gandhi will be on full display.
Rajya Sabha elections
Biennial Elections to the Council of States from NCT of Delhi and Sikkim and bye-election to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh.
3 Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi will go to polls on January 16, 2018.
1 seat from Sikim will go to polls on January 16, 2018.
1 seat from Uttar Pradesh will go to polls on January 16, 2018.
Bye-elections for State Legislative Assemblies of Rajasthan and West Bengal
Polling in Mandalgarh of Rajasthan will be held on January 29
Polling in Noapara of West Bengal will be held on January 29
Urban local body elections, Panchayat elections in all states
West Bengal Panchayat elections are scheduled to be held in May this year.
Elections Beyond 2018
(To be updated)