By L S Herdenia
BHOPAL: Most of the newspaper reports after the noisy propaganda during election campaign came to an end indicate that there is neck to neck fight between BJP and Congress in Madhya Pradesh. BJP seems to have improved its position after whirlwind tour of the Prime Minister. Prime Minister has been addressing three public meetings every day for last almost one week. For Congress, massive road shows of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have emboldened them to say that they are capturing 150 seats in the house of 230. The polls in Madhya Pradesh are taking place on November 17.
Though BJP has launched massive campaign it has not indicated who is their chief minister face. In its daily advertisements the BJP has been showing the pictures of Prahlad Patel, Kailash Vijayvargiya, state president V. D. Sharma, Narendra Singh Tomar, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Jyotiraditya Scindia, thus giving clear cut impression that any one of them can be picked up for the post of chief minister.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan feels confident of a BJP victory and says the party will decide the CM. The Congress, on the other hand, is going full steam ahead with PCC chief Kamal Nath as the CM candidate and party leader Rahul Gandhi saying Congress will win 150 seats. The fight this time, is at the booth level.
In the first speech after taking charge as state Congress president in May 2018, six months before the last assembly polls, Nath had said: “Our fight is not against the BJP, but its organisation”. He realised that the Congress organisation had dwindled after the 2003 loss and subsequent electoral defeats while BJP’s cadre strength had muscled up.
Over the last five years, Nath set about building the cadre formation. “he first time in MP, we have 58,000 booth workers” said state PCC media department vice president Bhupendra Gupta,. “Till May 2018, we only had a organisation till the district and block levels. After Kamal Nath came to the state, he introduced the mandal level, a step down from the blocks. In six months, Nath increased the 600 organisational units to 3,000 and 500 blocks were increased to 800, He started 2,400 mandals to match the BJP’s strength.
Congress claims it has booth workers like the BJP though far outnumbered. Under Nath, the Congress has two ‘booth level agents’ who have the authority to write to collectors in case of “BJP excesses”. “In this election our organisational structure has increased from 3,000 units to 15000 units” Gupta explained.
Ranged against Congress are 41 lakh registered BJP workers in 65,430 booths and layers of leadership till the grassroots. BJP says it has more than 1 crore workers in the state. With Union home minister Amit Shah in-charge of the assemble elections here.
Observers are surprised that almost all the senior central ministers have been touring the state and have been addressing public meetings at small places. These leaders have been claiming that under Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s stewardship the state has made extraordinary progress. If it is really so why the party has to use Prime Minister to make such a claim. In fact it appears that Delhi is not the capital of India. Besides Prime Minister defense minister, home minister and a dozen ministers have made MP their home. A non-Congress opposition leader has asked that if the claims of all round progress is real why the BJP has to spend crores on advertisements.
One of the features of this time’s election propaganda has been undignified language used by the leaders of almost all partied including the Prime Minister. For example Prime Minister described Rahul Gandhi as the leader of fools (Murkh). Priyanka called Scindia arrogant, Congress president called BJP leaders thieves and dacoits Rajnath Singh called Rahul Gandhi as Rahu and Ketu. (IPA Service)