By L.S. Herdenia
BHOPAL: After hectic efforts Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has succeeded in making the two by-elections a contest between the Scindias. While the Congress campaign is led by Jyotiraditya Scindia, the BJP is projecting Yashodhara Raje Scindia as the commander of its campaign. Yashodhara is the sister of the late Madhav Rao Scindia, father of Jyotiraditya. In fact, both Congress and BJP have been using the influence of Scindias since sixties. While the late Vijayaraje was with the BJP, her son Madhav Rao Scindia lent support to Congress. But during the elections they never campaigned against each other. This trend continued between Yashodhara and Jyotiraditya. This is for the first time that they will campaign against each other.
BJP is using its minister Yashodhara Raje to counter the popularity of Congress’ Jyotiraditya Scindia. The chief minister had in a recent election meeting announced that he would work as the MLA of Kolaras, if the BJP candidate wins the seat. As the campaigning intensifies, BJP leaders and ministers arrived at Kolaras and Mungaoli to woo the voters and dent Jyotiraditya’s influence. Yashodhara Raje will campaign for party candidate Devendra Jain.
The party has also recalled the contribution of late Vijayaraje Scindia, who had played a key role in laying the BJP’s foundation and development of the region. “We want to remind Rajmata Scindia’s contribution to the public. Her daughter and cabinet minister Yashodhara Raje is leading the campaign in support of Devendra Jain,” said BJP MLA and campaign in-charge Rameshwar Sharma.
The party is promising voters they would get two public representatives if its candidate wins. Apart from Jain, chief minister Chouhan would also work for the constituency as an MLA as he himself had promised during the election meetings.
Senior BJP leader and Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar addressed public meetings in village Karya, Kumhoura, Rajgarh and Padora in Kolaras assembly. Tomar said that the Congress claims of 250-year-old relations between the public and Scindia clan have fallen flat on the development front.
As the BJP leaders have intensified campaigning, state party president Nandkumar Singh Chouhan, ministers Bhupendra Singh, Lalsingh Arya, Rustam Singh, Vishwas Sarang, Narottam Mishra, among others, are camping in the area with senior BJP leaders.
In Mungaoli, BJP candidate Baisaab Yadav has launched foot march for door-to-door meeting with the voters. Party’s national vice president Prabhat Jha and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe are also reaching Mungaoli and Kolaras for campaigning.
But looking at the past experience, people doubt how much sincere Yashodhara will be in carrying her campaign. The whole area where the by election is being held has been loyal to the Scindia family. But their preference has been a male representative. Thus it is felt that Yashodhara will not be able to make a dent in Jyotiraditya’s influence. It is well known that the BJP election machinery is far superior to that of Congress. The party gives top priority in managing polling booths.
Though the BJP will not leave any stone unturned here, certain developments are having a negative effect on its campaign. The first is the resounding victory of Congress in the by-elections in Rajasthan. The Congress is telling the voters that the BJP’s fate is on decline and it has already lost ground.
The Congress is also telling the electorate that the BJP is a party which patronises and promotes people with criminal record. They cite the instance of recent expansion of the state ministry. The chief minister has inducted three ministers, one of whom is a is highly tainted legislator. In fact, in one case he is declared an absconder. The moment his name was announced for inclusion in the ministry, Opposition leader Ajay Singh alleged that a legislator who is involved in serious crimes is being made minister. Now the Congress campaign managers are taking full advantage of this fact.
Meanwhile, a rumour is afloat in social media that both BJP and Congress have entered into an agreement for sharing the seats as one apiece.(IPA Service)
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