BJP weathering anti-incumbency storm in MP - The New Indian Express

BJP weathering anti-incumbency storm in MP

Published: 12th October 2013 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 12th October 2013 11:19 AM

The BJP, facing an anti-incumbency undercurrent in Madhya Pradesh, is banking on Shivraj Singh Chouhan to achieve a third term for the party in the state.

Even though Chouhan enjoys a relatively clean image, the alleged involvement of ministers perceived to be close to him, in corruption cases, has become a cause of concern for the government.

Tainted leaders like former finance minister Raghavji and tribal minister Vijay Shah who were forced to resign over issues of moral turpitude have been highlighted by the Congress vociferously.

Similarly, corruption charges against party leaders including Ajay Vishnoi, Narottam Mishra, Rajendra Shukla and Laxmikant Sharma have left even the RSS fold in the state worried.

“It is true that an anti-incumbency wave coupled with corruption charges is a cause of serious concern. The party needs to counter it by denying tickets to those leaders who are tainted,” a senior Sangh functionary said. He also indicated that close to 25 sitting MLAs will not be given the party ticket this time.

While Chouhan, during his campaigning and public programmes, is harping on the 10 years of good governance that he gave in comparison to the previous Digvijay Singh government, Congress’s chief minister candidate Jyotiraditya Scindia is focusing on the misdeeds and alleged instances of corruption that took place under that tenure.

None of the leaders are focusing too much on Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi in their speech. According to Tapan Mohanty, an associate professor at the National Law Institute University, one reason for this is that both Chouhan and Scindia do not want to appear secondary leaders.

“If they start bringing in Rahul or Modi it will give out a message that the national leaders are supreme than the state leaders. Also people at the state level are more interested to hear about their state leaders rather than about Rahul or Modi,” Mohanty told the ‘Express’.

While Modi has already addressed a rally in Bhopal last month, Rahul will be coming to the state later this month to address two rallies.

Former Union minister and Congress in-charge of the state election committee Arun Yadav said the party is deliberately focusing on the local issues as they are of a much bigger interest to the voters.

“The corruption that the BJP has indulged in the last two terms with Chouhan at the helm needs to be conveyed to the voters,” said Arun. BJP spokesperson Vijendra Sisodia told the Express that the party has done good work in the state in the last 10 years and that is why they are asking the electorates to vote for Chauhan.

“We are asking votes in the name of an individual. However, the Congress, neither when Digvijay was the CM nor under the present UPA rule, has done anything for the state, so their party leaders are instead focusing on attacking Chouhan,” Sisodia said.

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