With around eight months left for the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections, the Hindi heartland where both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress have a strong dominance will start witnessing political heat by February. While the ruling BJP will try to retain power highlighting the public benefit schemes of the so-called double engine government (Centre and State), the opposition Congress will be hoping to sway public sentiments once again.
Both the BJP and the Congress with their strategies to reach out in all the 230 assembly constituencies, highlighting their vision to convince the voters, will begin their first mega power show in February. The Madhya Pradesh Congress led by former Chief Minister Kamal Nath will kick-off its “Hanth Se Hanth” march in all the constituencies from Republic Day onward. In a similar fashion, the state unit of the BJP will start its “Vikas Yatra” from February 5.
The politics of Madhya Pradesh will also heat up with two-time former Chief Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh, who has a strong hold on the state’s politics, missing no opportunity to attack political opponents. He will be back here once the Congress’ “Bharat Jodo Yatra” reaches its destination – Jammu and Kashmir – by the end of this month.
“The Congress has won two consecutive elections (Assembly polls in 2018 and Mayoral polls in 2022) under Kamal Nath’s leadership and therefore the cadre is fully energised. Once the Bharat Jodo Yatra is completed, the Congress will intensify it’s campaign. Rahul Gandhi will start focusing on the Madhya Pradesh elections and Digvijaya Singh will also be free to devote his entire time to the elections. It will boost the Congress cadres’ confidence to another level,” a source in the Madhya Pradesh Congress told IANS.
Sources also claimed that once Digvijaya Singh joins the election campaign, a fierce attack will be launched against Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. State Congress president Kamal Nath has already begun attacking his former party colleague Scindia, whose defection to the BJP led to his government’s fall in 2020, saying Scindia has become “politically redundant” even in his pocket borough Gwalior.
Kamal Nath in an aggressive mood went on to say, “If he (Scindia) was such a big gun, why did they (BJP) lose the mayoral seats in Gwalior and Morena?.”
Sources in the political gallery claimed that Scindia will like to remain embroiled in a political controversy in a bid to regain his political space in Madhya Pradesh. “Some other BJP leaders are making efforts to find space in the Gwalior-Chambal region, but it is not going down well with Scindia and therefore, he will not let it happen. Digvijaya and Scindia’s power battle will come to the fore once again,” said a senior journalist.
In the last three-four months, Kamal Nath has reached out in all the constituencies where the party had been defeated in three consecutive elections. Sources said the Congress has planned to dent the BJP’s strongholds, specially in the Gwalior-Chambal and Vindhya regions.
On the other hand, the state BJP will be relying on the ‘development work’ done under the leadership of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, during his 16-year tenure. However, MP BJP president V. D. Sharma has started strengthening the party cadre at the district and booth level.
Through its upcoming “Vikas Yatra”, the MP BJP will take its development model to all 230 Assembly constituencies. But, it will have its main focus on 103 seats, including the tribal dominated constituencies, where the party had lost in the 2018 elections. During this yatra, there will be a slew of announcements of development projects and the BJP legislators will be laying the foundation stones of projects in their constituencies.
“Vikas Yatra will be carried out in all the 230 Assembly constituencies, but more focus will be put on the 103 seats where the party had lost in the last elections. Top leaders will specially reach out in these constituencies,” said a BJP spokesperson.
The state working committee meeting of the BJP is scheduled for January 24, following which the district working committee meeting will be held on January 26 and the booth working committee meeting on January 28. There is also a buzz about the possible implementation of the “Gujarat model” in Madhya Pradesh and whether MP BJP president V. D. Sharma, who tenure is ending in February, will be given an extension.