Upcoming Elections in India

In the new year 2021, as India comes out of a year of lockdown and paused public life, it is going to, by degrees, go back to the pre-coronavirus normalcy. This involves conducting regular elections as well. We can't expect the new elections to be as difficult to organise and conduct as the Bihar elections of 2020, but elections in a pandemic are yet a new phenomenon and it has to be observed how their handling can impact their results.

This year, we have legislative assembly elections in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal (in April) and later Jammu and Kashmir. There are also a few bye-elections scheduled. Politicians have already begun campaigning aggressively for all these elections - large crowds in West Bengal attend rallies as the top contenders have a fight of ideologies, and Assam sees an increase in the wages of the tea-growers in light of the upcoming election. The field has gotten even more competitive as E. Shreedharan, also known as the 'Metro Man' of India, has joined the BJP in light of the upcoming Kerala elections.

The public and media discourse has also greatly moved on from other political challenges and the coronavirus debates to this - and so have the priorities of the political leaders. Even in the union budget of 2021, there was a major allocation of funds to these states for highway projects and other things. Now the only thing left to see is how these very unpredictable elections turn out for all the political actors involved.

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