All you need to know about state polls in AP, Arunachal, Odisha, Sikkim

While the Lok Sabha election 2019 has taken centre stage for the past few months, four states conducted elections for their respective state assemblies. Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, and Sikkim simultaneously elected their representatives to the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha. Regional parties in these states have been holding strong, except in Arunachal Pradesh, where the BJP is currently leading in the polls.

According to the Election Commision (EC), the Yuvajana Shramika Raithu Congress Party (YSRCP) is projected to sweep 148 seats out of 175 in Andhra Pradesh, while the BJP is leading with 21 seats out of 60 in Arunachal Pradesh.

In Odisha, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) looks prised to win 107 of 147 seats, and in Sikkim, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) is leading with eight out of 32 seats.

State assembly results in Andhra Pradesh

All 75 parliamentary and 175 assembly constituencies in Andhra Pradesh concluded voting in phase 1 of the elections on April 11. The state reported a 79.05% turnout.

Prior to the 2019 elections, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) held a majority—99 seats out of 176. TDP’s Chandrababu Naidu was also the state’s longest serving chief minister.

Naidu believed that the state assembly election would come down to the TDP or Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), not the opposition party, YSRCP. However, the results have proved Naidu wrong.

YSRCP Chief Jaganmohan Reddy was the Leader of Opposition; he is now set to become the state’s chief minister. He has outed Naidu after slamming him for corruption and dishonesty. CNBC-TV18 reported that Naidu will hand in his resignation later in the day.

Another factor in Andhra Pradesh’s state elections was the Special Category Status that the former UPA government had promised the state.

With the Special Category Status, Andhra Pradesh can be eligible for more investments, greater funds from the Centre, concession on excise duties, debt relief schemes, and tax cuts. TDP argued that because Hyderabad went to Telangana, Andhra Pradesh was losing vital revenue and needed the special status to flourish.

Although the BJP also rallied for the state to get this special status, when it came to power in 2014, the party said only the Northeast and three hill states were eligible for the same. Hence, Naidu left the NDA and has since worked to dredge up the anti-BJP sentiment in the state.

YSRCP has also pushed for special status and added welfare schemes for Dalits.

The EC is reporting that the YSRCP has a massive majority of 148 seats, while the TDP has only 26. In third place is Jana Sena Party (JSP) with one seat, bringing the total up to 175. The last seat is held by an MP who is specially nominated for minority representation.

Neither the Congress nor the BJP bagged any seats.

State assembly results in Arunachal Pradesh

Like Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh went to polls in phase 1 of the elections and conducted Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha contests simultaneously. All 60 seats are reserved for candidates who belong to Scheduled Tribes.

Before 2019, the BJP had held 48, National People’s Party (NPP) had seven, and the Congress had three seats in the state assembly. However, this break-up has since changed.

One of the key issues in the state is the National Register of Citizens (NRC), a BJP promise to create a list of all legal and documented residents in the country—a highly divisive issue, particularly in the Northeast.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 that gives Jain, Buddhist, Parsi, Hindu, and Sikh refugees, but not Muslims and Christians, citizenship has sparked protests in the state. Student unions called for a bandh to condemn this Bill.

Both the NRC and Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 were at the core of violent riots and demonstrations that claimed the lives of a few and injured many, including armed force personnel who were sent to keep the peace. Protesters attacked and set fire to ministerial residences, public property, and vehicles on the street.

The EC declared that of the state’s 60 seats, the BJP has won with 23, Janata Dal (United) is next with four, and the Congress is trailing with two. The NPP has secured no seats.

News18 reports that although the Congress won the assembly elections in 2014, 33 of its MPs joined the BJP in 2016.

Two days ago, NPP MLA Tirong Aboh, who was seeking re-election, and his son were shot dead by militants allegedly belonging to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland.

State assembly results in Sikkim

Sikkim also went to polls in phase 1 of the elections and simultaneously elected its state assembly and Lok Sabha representatives.

Of a total 32 seats, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) is leading with 10 and the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) is second with eight. The BJP and Congress have not managed to make a dent in Sikkim’s assembly polls, and the fight has come down to SDF and SKM.

To win a majority, those two parties need 17 seats. The EC is reporting that the SKM has won eight seats and is leading in four, while the SDF has won four and is leading in five.

The Wire reports that anti-incumbent sentiment has been working against the SDF and Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, India’s longest serving chief minister. The SKM has been a force to contend with—it disrupted SDF’s absolutely majority in the 2009 Vidhan Sabha and won 10 seats in 2014. Now, in 2019, it is leading in the polls.

In Sikkim, the universal basic income scheme was a big ticket issue in the state assembly elections. The SKM opposed the implementation of a UBI scheme, while the SDF promised to put it into action by 2022. However, critics have questioned how financially viable the scheme would be if the SDF did manage to implement it.

State assembly results in Odisha

In 2014, the BJD won a majority with 118, while the Congress came second with 16. The BJP came in third with 10 seats; it has since campaigned hard in West Bengal and Odisha as part of its ‘Look East’ policy and managed to beat the Congress in Odisha’s 2019 assembly polls.

Of Odisha’s 147 seats, the BJD has won 109. The BJP follows with 23 seats, Congress with 12, and the CPI(M) with one.

Odisha has dealt with a number of contentious issues, such as gender-based violence, corruption, unemployment, and the chit fund scam. Poverty alleviation and greater economic growth are also important issues.
Mint reports that BJD chief Naveen Patnaik has supported anti-corruption and social welfare schemes, endearing him to the state populace.

All eyes are on the national vote count, as the BJP is coming back into power with a higher tally than in 2014. While regional parties have held their own in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh is mirroring the national sentiment towards the BJP.

Rhea Arora is a Staff Writer at Qrius

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