Utpal Borpujari

April 27, 2009

MP: BJP has an edge over Cong

Filed under: Deccan Herald,India,Indian Politics,Media,Politics — Utpal Borpujari @ 2:24 pm
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By Utpal Borpujari in Bhopal

If one goes by the results of the 2008 Assembly elections and juxtapose them with the 2004 Lok Sabha election results, the picture seems quite clear in Madhya Pradesh, which, along with Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, is among BJP’s strongest bets.

The credit for the continuing good fortune of the BJP in the state goes clearly to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s pro-development image. So much so that even in the Lok Sabha elections, the party is pushing its Assembly election agenda of state government’s developmental work.

The Congress, on the other hand, has not been able to make an issue out of anything except talking about the BJP’s communal agenda and the UPA government’s “achievements” at the Centre.

It has even failed to make an issue out of the acute water and power shortage faced by the state.

The BJP, however,has used it to blame the Centre for not lending a helping hand.

In the 2004 elections, the BJP had won 25 of the 29 seats in the state while the Congress could manage only four.

Fortunes improve

But since then the fortunes of the Congress have visibly improved. In the Assembly elections, the Congress won 71 seats – up from 39 in 2003 – while the BJP’s declined from 172 to 142.

Chauhan’s simple, low-profile nature, no-nonsense work style and direct connection with people seem to have made BJP’s task much easier. That the party does not want to bring in any of its ‘other’ core issues to the forefront here became apparent when Sushma Swaraj categorically said that the services of party’s rabble rouser Varun Gandhi were not required here.

The BJP has got another boost with firebrand Uma Bharti, much of her fire extinguished after she failed to achieve much with her Bharatiya Jan Shakti (BJS) Party that she had formed after rebelling against L K Advani, almost back in the fold after announcing her backing to Advani for the Prime Minister’s post. The BJP is confident that BJS’ six per cent vote in the Assembly elections would come to its kitty.

In comparison, the Congress, while showing signs of slight recovery, still seems to be unsure about how to go about tackling the BJP.

The party has also not been able to make its top leaders Arjun Singh, Digvijay Singh, Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia work in cohesion. In fact, the allegation is that these leaders work against each other to further their own individual political interests.


The Congress has also suffered two embarrassments. Its candidate against BJP’s Sushma Swaraj in Vidisha, Raj Kumar Patel’s nomination was rejected as he had filed a faulty set of papers. Murmurs within the party allege that it might have been deliberate.

Apart from this, the Arjun Singh family has led to problems with his daughter Veena Singh filing her nomination as an independent against the official Congress candidate from Sidhi.

The Congress, however, can take consolation from the fact that the BSP, despite its supremo Mayawati trying her best, has not been able to grow much in the state, its influence restricted to some pockets of the Bundelkhand and Vindhya regions.

Of the state’s 29 seats, including four reserved for SCs and six for STs, 13 will go to the polls on April 23, and the rest on April 30. The state’s 3,80,72,403 voters, out of which 1,79,01,968 are women will have their choice – Congress or the BJP.

With the “Third” or “Fourth” fronts virtually non-existent here, all eyes are set on how many seats the Congress will bag, especially as every single addition to its tally will help it move towards the dream of retaining power at the Centre.

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 19-04-2009)



1 Comment »

  1. […] Original post by utpalb21 […]

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