10 Oct 2023

Madhya Pradesh Elections 2023: Shivraj Exudes Confidence After Announcement Of Poll Dates But Is It Going To Be Smooth Sailing For Him?

Bhopal: After the announcement of the poll dates by the Election Commission of India, both Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Congress leader Kamal Nath radiated confidence regarding their prospects in the upcoming assembly polls.

CM Shivraj once again expressed his belief in the BJP's governance track record. He stated that the people of Madhya Pradesh have unwavering faith in the BJP's "double engine government" and emphasized the role of the lotus, the BJP's election symbol, in steering the state towards development. 

He tweeted, "With the election date now set, the BJP continues to receive immense support from the people of Madhya Pradesh. We must once again accelerate the pace of development in the state. Madhya Pradesh has faith in the double engine government, and this Diwali will be celebrated with the lotus."

Opportunity to restore truth and justice: Nath

On the other hand, Kamal Nath, the state Congress chief and a prominent rival, welcomed the long-awaited announcement of the election date. He saw this as an opportunity to address what he referred to as "hijacking of democracy" and to restore truth and justice. Kamal Nath urged Congress workers and the citizens of Madhya Pradesh to focus on the state's development and future while also emphasizing the importance of voting wisely. He expressed confidence in the victory of the people's government in Madhya Pradesh on December 3.

BJP faces anti-incumbency, infighting

There will be many challenges before the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections. To stop the Congress in the elections, the BJP will have to fight anti-incumbency, overcome infighting and face voters amid a disinterest in its state leadership for more than 16 years. 

After winning three consecutive elections in the state in 2003, 2008 and 2013, the BJP lost to the Congress in 2018 but managed to come back to power after the fall of the Kamal Nath-led government in March 2020. 

BJP relying on Modi's charisma and Shivraj's mass appeal

The BJP is banking heavily on the charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the mass appeal of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, an OBC leader known for his down-to-earth image.

Saffron party relying on its outreach to attract women voters 

The ruling party is relying on its outreach to attract women voters and has launched dedicated schemes like 'Ladli Bahna Yojana'. Under this scheme, eligible women get Rs 1,250 per month and the government has promised to increase this amount to Rs 3,000 per month.

Strong organizational structure

A strong organizational structure that remains in election mode throughout the year is BJP's strength. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has described the party organization in Madhya Pradesh as one of the best in the country.

BJP is also relying on the issues of Hindutva, development and double engine development. Shah, considered a skilled strategist, is monitoring the preparations.

After fielding some of its MPs and some Union ministers from the state, the ruling party wants to take advantage of their mass appeal.

The saffron party has also given ticket to its national general secretary and crowd puller Kailash Vijayvargiya.

But the party also faces many challengers. A possible anti-incumbency wave, because except for a brief period from December 2018 to March 2020, the BJP party has been ruling in the state since 2003.

Many Scindia supporters have returned to Cong

BJP is facing turmoil in the organization as many leaders who came to BJP with Jyotiraditya Scindia have returned to their parent party Congress.

An atmosphere of discouragement is being created against Chief Minister Chouhan, who has been in power for 18 years. There are many contenders for the post of Chief Minister.

Congress has launched a powerful campaign against alleged corruption, increase in crimes against women, atrocities against Dalits and tribals, rising inflation and unemployment, among other issues.

But having been in power for almost two decades, the BJP has also implemented many of the promises made to women voters and other sections through welfare schemes.

BJP will gain if allies of INDIA  alliance contest separately

In the event of Congress, AAP and Samajwadi Party, the allies of the opposition alliance 'INDIA', contesting the elections separately, such a development will be in favor of the BJP. 

Traditionally, SP, BSP and other parties except Congress have been marginal players in the politics of Madhya Pradesh.

The controversy over Sanatan Dharma serves to strengthen the BJP's image as the protector of Hindus. Recently, during the Jan Ashirwad Yatra, BJP made a lot of noise on the comments of DMK leaders.

Internal strife within the BJP has been kept hidden

Due to the strong central leadership, internal strife within the BJP has been kept hidden to a great extent, but a defeat could expose the cracks.

In the event of a hung assembly, it may be difficult for the BJP to find allies to garner a majority.

Congress has regained most of the ground lost since 2003. In 2003, it had won only 38 seats, but made a comeback in 2018 by winning 114 constituencies.

In 2003, the BJP won 173 seats, but in 2008 its tally dropped to 143. In 2013, the BJP secured 165 seats, but it lost its majority in 2018 when its tally dropped to 109.

Cong has given many 'guarantees' 

Many BJP leaders, some of whom are committed to the ideology of the Sangh, have joined the Congress. Some old faces of the Sangh formed a new party.

Congress has assured many 'guarantees' like farm loan waiver, resumption of old pension scheme and free electricity up to 100 units.

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