Counting for the five state elections including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram began on Tuesday. It is a high stake election not just for the national parties - BJP and Congress but also for regional forces. These assembly elections are also the last before the 2019 general elections. A look at why the election and its outcome matters:

1) This is the make or break election for Congress and Rahul Gandhi. If Congress wins in any of the three BJP incumbent states, it would be the first such instance since 2014 where it has won in a direct contest.

2) This is the last set of assembly elections before 2019 general elections. The five states put together account for 84 out of the 543 Lok Sabha seats and hence Tuesday’s outcome would be crucial to gauge voters’ mood ahead of national polls.

3) The elections could decide whether the momentum is in the favour or against the BJP. Party is incumbent in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and has high stakes for the three chief ministers and regional satraps – Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Raman Singh and Vasundhara Raje respectively.

4) This is the first state polls in Telangana since bifurcation took place and holds will decide the fate of three regional parties – Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) for returning to power, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) as a challenger and Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM as a likely kingmaker.

5) The outcome for Mizoram polls will be a decider on whether Congress is able to hold on to its last bastion in northeast or whether the NDA continues with its expansion in the region. Since 2014 Congress has lost all the North East states to the NDA.

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