Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Welcoming the Election Commission`s announcement of poll schedule in 5 states, the BJP`s PM nominee and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday tweeted, "I welcome announcement of polls in 5 states. Elections are a celebration of our democracy. We look forward to a healthy & spirited election."
Meanwhile, other senior party leaders of the poll bound states also put their confident foot in-front and asserted BJP will definitely win four of the five states that are going to polls in November-December.
"We are keen and prepared for the polls and we are totally confident the atmosphere in the nation is in favour of the BJP," spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said.
He added further, "In Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh we will come back in power, and in Rajasthan and Delhi we will get the mandate against the poor performance of the incumbent governments."
Asked about the issues for the polls, he said: "It will be state issues mostly but, of course, national issues will have a bearing."
"Will win by 3/4th majority in Madhya Pradesh under leadership of Shivraj Chauhan, Thawar Chand Gehlot said.
The Election Commission today announced that the Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mizoram will be held from November 11, for which the counting will take place on December 8.
Modi had addressed rallies in four poll-bound states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi ahead of the announcement of polls and is expected to campaign in these states ahead of the elections.
Meanwhile, the Congress party also expressed confidence that it will get the mandate because of its programmes and policies but rejected contentions that the Assembly polls could be called a semi-final for the 2014 General Elections.
"There is nothing like semifinal or quarter final. For us every election is final in itself. We consider these elections as final as far as they are concerned.
"We will go to elections on our programmes and policies and we are hopeful that we will get the mandate," party spokesperson Meem Afzal told reporters.
He also dismissed a contention that Congress will consider the outcome of the assembly elections as a clear indication of people`s likely verdict for the Lok Sabha elections since the state polls are being held after Modi was declared the prime ministerial candidate.
"Congress does not fight elections keeping in mind any one person," he blunbtly said.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit also exuded confidence of a fourth straight victory, saying "achievement" of her government in the last 15 years will be the main poll plank.
"I am totally confident of Congress` victory in the election. We are fully prepared for the fight. I am sure people of the city will continue to support us," she said.
Dikshit, who led Congress to three straight wins in Delhi beginning 1998 and has been at the helm of affairs for 15 years, said development work carried out by her government has been "visible" in the city and she will seek peoples` support based on her performance.
"Whatever we have done in the city in the last 15 years is visible. People can feel what transformation the city has undergone. We have ensured welfare of each and every section of the society," the 75-year-old Congress leader said.
`Modi`s popularity will boost prospects in Assembly polls`
BJP also said though local issues will dominate these elections, the popularity of Narendra Modi will definitely boost the party`s prospects.
Asked if these elections will be a test of BJP`s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi`s acceptability and popularity, BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said, "Modi is undoubtedly the most popular leader in the country. All surveys indicate this. We will definitely get the advantage of this in the polls."
He was talking to reporters soon after the announcement of Assembly poll schedule in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mizoram.
To a question on whether these elections are a semi-final ahead of the Lok Sabha polls due in 2014, he said, "These are state elections where state issues will be in the forefront. But national issues will also have a bearing on the polls."
Modi is expected to be the star campaigner for the party in the four states where BJP has high stakes.
"BJP is enthusiastic and determined to perform well in the elections in these states. The atmosphere prevailing in the country is in favour of the party," Trivedi said.
He claimed that the good performance of BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh will help it retain power in those states while the anti-incumbency factor against Congress governments in Rajasthan and Delhi will contribute to the saffron party`s victory.
"We will form the government in four states and will perform well in Mizoram," Trivedi said.
With PTI inputs