NEW DELHI: WITH euphoria within the BJP over its massive win in Uttar Pradesh early this year now seemingly sobering after a close call in Gujarat, the saffron outfit would be bracing up to defend its bastions in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, along with Rajasthan, next year. That the anti-incumbency factor is finally catching up with the BJP, as was evident in Gujarat, appears to have begun worrying the saffron outfit.
“The BJP has already begun poll preparations in Madhya Pradesh. The state is the strongest fort for the party, yet we will look into all issues that may be fodder for the Opposition campaign. Agrarian distress is a cause for concern. The Centre will need to take measures that can ameliorate the situation in rural India,” a BJP national general secretary said.
Incidentally, the BJP would be completing three consecutive full terms in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh next year. The saffron outfit had wrested both the states from the Congress in 2003. Besides, the BJP had come to power in Rajasthan in 2013.
The MP chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is an OBC, faced strong farmers’ protests early this year on account of falling agricultural incomes. While the farmers’ protests have died down as of now, the BJP functionaries anticipate that the Opposition could whip them up in the run-up to the state polls.
Chhattisgarh is another saffron stronghold where the party will be defending 15 years of rule next year. The BJP had won 49 of the 90 seats in the 2013 state polls, while the Congress had bagged 39 seats. With Ajit Jogi, formerly the face of the Congress party in the state, having floated Janata Congress Chhattisgarh, the BJP is pinning its hopes on a triangular contest to sail through in next year’s elections.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is of late facing protests from farmers who are demanding loan waivers. She has also been facing protests from Gujjars in the state who have been demanding reservation on the lines of the Patidars in Gujarat.