Today, voters will elect representatives to all 231 Legislative Assembly seats in the central-Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
While the Baharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has controlled Madhya Pradesh for nearly 15 years, polling now suggests the Indian National Congress (INC) could seize power. Unemployment in the state has risen some 50% in two years, especially among educated youth—a major voting demographic. The INC claims that BJP rule over the state for so long has done little to solve the issue.
The winner of the election will likely be the candidate that takes the Betul district, where the winning party historically goes on to take the Assembly. Nilay Daga (INC) faces off against Hermant Khandelwal (BJP) there.
Likewise, the winner of Madhya Pradesh could be indicative of which party wins India’s upper legislative house in May’s national election. An INC victory or a strong showing in Madhya Pradesh could signal larger public distrust in continued BJP governance.
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Nick is the Director of the Daily Brief and a contributing Senior Analyst to it. An attorney, his areas of expertise include international law, international and domestic criminal law, security affairs in Europe and the Middle East, and human rights.