LS polls phase II: Farm distress, development, nationalism take lead
New Delhi: Western Uttar Pradesh will be a test case in the second phase of the general elections on April 18 when polling will be held for 97 Lok Sabha seats. There are serious farmers issues at stake there, yet they could be subsumed by the discourse on nationalism.
Across the country, there are other constituencies where farm distress will be a factor, like the Marathwada region, or backward Raiganj in West Bengal, where agrarian crisis is a reality.
The question in Srinagar will be about keeping the separatists at bay. In the 2017 by-elections, which former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah won, the voting percentage was an abysmal 7.2 per cent, the lowest ever recorded till then for a Lok Sabha election.
The big story will be in Tamil Nadu — polls to all Lok Sabha and Assembly seats will be held in a single phase. Right now, it is a bipolar election — between the AIADMK and DMK. The subtext will be provided by the election results — to see whether either the UPA or the NDA has been able to get a toehold in the state.