BHOPAL: Even as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as the Congress continued to express confidence of a victory in the November 28 Assembly polls, both outfits have readied backup plans in case of a fractured mandate from the counting on Tuesday.
While the Congress is confident of returning to power after a long gap of 15 years with 130-140 seats, the BJP is optimistic of fourth straight term in power with over 120 seats. So confident is the Congress of raking up a victory, that its workers have put a big hoarding outside the state party headquarters in Bhopal, heralding and welcoming a government headed by state party chief Kamal Nath.
While Nath continues to project a win with more than 140-plus seats, former chief minister Digvijaya Singh claimed the party get a comfortable majority of more than 130 seats. Importantly, the faction-ridden party will see all three powerful leaders, Nath, Election campaign committee chief Jyotiraditya Scindia and Singh watch the election results together on a giant screen. A party functionary privy to strategy discussions however, said, “We’re ready with Plan B also in case we fall short of majority. In the worst case, we might need maximum 4-5 seats, which we can manage through individual candidates.”
Sources within the party added that key party leaders in different regions have already opened channels of negotiations to win back rebels who are in a position to win the polls and not just damage Congress and BJP poll prospects. Such rebels include Independent candidates like Rajan Mandloi (Barwani), Samandar Patel (Javad-Neemuch) and ex-MLA Pradeep Jaiswal who is stated to be in good position from Waraseoni seat of Balaghat district, where the Congress had fielded CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani.
The party’s top leaders will at all cost stake claim to form the government at the Raj Bhawan in Bhopal by Tuesday evening, even if they fall short of requisite numbers, said another functionary.On the other hand, the ruling BJP too is confident of a win. “We’re coming to power again with comfortable majority and will not need any party’s support for forming the government,” said a senior BJP leader in Bhopal.
While most of the leaders, including those close to the CM are confident of winning 120-125 out of the total 230 seats on stake, informed sources within the party said that even if the party falls short of desired numbers, it would only need 3-4 seats, which can be managed by bringing back into its fold the victorious rebels.
Independent candidates like Rajan Mandloi (Barwani), Samandar Patel (Javad-Neemuch) and ex-MLA Pradeep Jaiswal (Waraseoni) are all touted to be in good positions in the November 28 electoral contest