With trends indicating that the Congress was ahead in the assembly polls in three Hindi heartland states, senior party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said the figures reflected the people's desire for a change.
Called to chart out a future course of action for forming a non-BJP front, the Opposition meeting comes just a day before the results of the Assembly Election 2018 for the five states- Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram.
Chhattisgarh: Here too, the BJP has managed a slim edge over the Congress after a close race in early trends.
India will hold nation-wide parliamentary elections early in 2019.
Regional parties - the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the Mizo National Front (MNF) - are leading in these states. The exit polls by C-Voter predicted a hung assembly in Mizoram, with MNF likely to win 16-20 seats, the Congress to get 14-18 seats and 3-7 seats likely to go Zoram People's Movement (ZPM), which may emerge as king maker in post-poll scenario. The main electoral contest is between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress. The possible outcome of the assembly elections in five states and the Congress party's performance on the ground came up for discussion at the informal talks.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav and Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) leader Sharad Yadav are also among those likely to attend the meeting. The BJPs Lok Sabha strength has reduced from 283 to 269, with the party losing most by-polls since 2014, including in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. According to the Lokniti-CSDS data for the 2013 assembly elections, Congress had a 9 percent lead over BJP in terms of tribal votes.
What's at stake? Chief minister Lal Thanhawala-led Congress is looking to hold office for a third consecutive term.
In the current polls, Modi has had to play second fiddle simply because the respective regional leader had a far more powerful presence in his/her state, for good or for the worse. It also told Governor ESL Narasimhan that it should be treated as a single entity in the event of no party getting a clear majority.
Lok Sabha, however, will be projected - at least by the BJP - as a direct Modi versus Gandhi battle, vastly distinct from these state elections. BJP won all 25 seats in Rajasthan, 27 out of 29 in Madhya Pradesh and 10 out of 11 in Chhattisgarh.
Chhattisgarh: BJP had won 49 of the 90 seats, Congress 39 and others 2.
Postal votes are available for four out of 119 seats in Telangana. The 2019 polls, however, will be designed entirely around Modi, with him being an overwhelming part of BJP's campaign.
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