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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

MP Polls: Battle Royale On Cards

As the fervour of the election campaign in Madhya Pradesh simmers down, the political landscape indicates a neck-and-neck contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. The BJP’s resurgence, seemingly bolstered by the Prime Minister’s whirlwind tour, has brought a renewed sense of competition. With the polls scheduled for November 17, both parties are leaving no stone unturned in their bid for victory. The BJP’s formidable campaign, marked by the Prime Minister’s three public meetings daily over the past week, has refrained from revealing a chief ministerial face. Through daily advertisements featuring prominent figures like Prahlad Patel, Kailash Vijayvargiya, V. D. Sharma, Narendra Singh Tomar, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Jyotiraditya Scindia, the party deliberately maintains an air of suspense regarding its leadership choice

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As the fervour of the election campaign in Madhya Pradesh simmers down, the political landscape indicates a neck-and-neck contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. The BJP’s resurgence, seemingly bolstered by the Prime Minister’s whirlwind tour, has brought a renewed sense of competition. With the polls scheduled for November 17, both parties are leaving no stone unturned in their bid for victory. The BJP’s formidable campaign, marked by the Prime Minister’s three public meetings daily over the past week, has refrained from revealing a chief ministerial face. Through daily advertisements featuring prominent figures like Prahlad Patel, Kailash Vijayvargiya, V. D. Sharma, Narendra Singh Tomar, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Jyotiraditya Scindia, the party deliberately maintains an air of suspense regarding its leadership choice. While Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expresses confidence in a BJP triumph, the Congress has adopted a different approach. PCC chief Kamal Nath has been projected as the Congress’s chief ministerial candidate, supported by Rahul Gandhi’s assertion that the party aims to secure 150 seats out of the 230 in the assembly. The battleground, this time, is the booth level, with both parties intensifying their efforts at the grassroots.

In a strategic move well before the last assembly polls in 2018, Kamal Nath acknowledged the Congress’s organizational shortcomings compared to the BJP’s well-established cadre. Nath focused on rebuilding the cadre formation, expanding from district and block levels to introduce mandal levels. Within six months, organizational units increased from 600 to 3,000, blocks from 500 to 800, and 2,400 mandals were established to rival the BJP’s organizational strength. The Congress claims parity with the BJP in terms of booth workers, albeit in larger numbers. Under Nath’s leadership, the party boasts two ‘booth level agents’ authorized to report “BJP excesses” directly to collectors. The organizational structure has witnessed substantial growth, expanding from 3,000 to 15,000 units in this election. In contrast, the BJP touts a formidable force with 41 lakh registered workers in 65,430 booths. Despite Congress’s efforts, the BJP asserts a colossal workforce of over 1 crore in the state. The presence of senior central ministers in the state, praising Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s leadership and claiming extraordinary progress, raises questions about the necessity of deploying the Prime Minister for such assertions.

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Observers express surprise at the influx of central ministers addressing public meetings in small towns, implying an unprecedented focus on Madhya Pradesh. However, the opposition questions the sincerity of progress claims, citing the substantial advertising expenditure. The capital, Delhi, seems to have shifted to Madhya Pradesh, with the Prime Minister, defense minister, home minister, and a dozen ministers making the state their temporary home. A noteworthy aspect of this election’s propaganda is the undignified language employed by leaders across party lines, including the Prime Minister. Such rhetoric, ranging from derogatory descriptions to name-calling, raises concerns about the level of political discourse in the electoral arena. As Madhya Pradesh braces for the upcoming polls, the clash of strategies between the BJP and Congress reveals a nuanced battle at the organizational and grassroots levels. The outcome remains uncertain, but what is clear is that both parties are sparing no effort to secure victory in this crucial electoral battleground.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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