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Assembly polls, including UP, begin from Feb: Will note ban play any role?

After demonetisation the first litmus test for the ruling-BJP at the Centre is to begin from next month as the dates for the Assembly polls in five States are to begin from February.

The seven-phase polls in UP is from Feb 11-March 8, counting on March 11 for all 5 States, chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi told reporters. Other States where elections are to be conducted are Goa, Manipur, Punjab and Uttarakhand in February and March.

It would be interesting to see whether note ban issue will play any dominant role in all these elections. Moreover, it would be a big test for BJP under whose governance the note ban was announced with the opposition parties crying foul. Despite the hardship, residents across the country were seen lining outside banks and ATMs. And with 50-day over many political pundits are divided over the popularity of the note ban among Indians. Pro-BJP supporters have been arguing that the not ban was well accepted by the people and hence there was no major law and order problem.

However, the opposition parties lambasted the PM for announcing note ban with some even terming as financial emergency in the country.

UP, which has 403 seats and 200 million people, is the real testing ground for the PM who has attracted huge crowds in his recent rallies. Ruled by the SP-headed Akhilesh Yadav the party is going through hard times with the party chief taking a different stand. Will the inside turmoil in the party help any other political party? This and other questions are being debated and the common perception is that BJP could benefit from it. However, it is too early to jump to any conclusion and everybody is keeping finger crossed until the elections are held and results announced.

CAPTION: Homepage photo via PIB

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