Assembly polls in Hindi heartland: A different battleground

By Vinod Kumar Shukla- 10 Oct 2023


New Delhi (10.10.2023): Election dates might not have surprised leaders of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh but they certainly need some course correction in their election management for various reasons. The BJP took initial lead by announcing names of its candidates early but that doesn’t ensure victory for any party. They will have to revisit their strategy as per the new election dates. Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Mizoram and Rajasthan will face electorates in November before 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

BRS goes for hat trick
Telangana Rashtra Samithi in its new avatar Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) of Telangana announced names of its candidate pretty early. Telangana CM KCR took a bold step and declared names of the candidates en-block at least three months before the election schedule. It appears that there is Congress verses BRS in Telangana and BJP doesn’t stand a chance there.
Chhattisgarh: A done game for the Congress and BJP?
Ever since T S Singh Dev was appointed as Deputy Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh by the Congress leadership, who was demanding from the Central leadership to honour their commitment made to him that he would share power with the incumbent Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel as the CM for the half term. Singh Dev was appointed as Dy CM and he accepted the offer without any fuss. This has clinched the deal for the Congress as talks about any electoral challenge being posed to the Congress in Chhattisgarh is not at all being discussed. But they should not underestimate the BJP which had won three consecutive elections in the past. Apparently, the BJP in the state is completely discounted as Bhupesh Baghel had brought senior tribal BJP leader Nand Kumar Sai to the Congress fold as his plan B if Singh Dev doesn’t remain reticent. Baghel appears confident and comfortable in the tribal state for repeating the second term. Meanwhile, praise of Prime Minister by Singh Dev caused some embarrassment and confusion in the Congress camp.

MP: Asset for the BJP and RSS
There is neck and neck fight in Madhya Pradesh with Kamal Nath posing stiff challenge to the BJP. Former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh by his ground work is adding value to the Congress’ strategy and long anti-incumbency is doing the rest for the grand old party. Singh is doing all this to have some bargaining power for some good assignment to his son in case Congress comes to power. With Scindia scion and now Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia out of the Congress, factionalism is over in the Congress. Anti-incumbency still persists in the state but Madhya Pradesh is an ideological asset for the BJP and the RSS. The decision of the BJP to contest election on symbol instead of any face may prove to be helpful to the party. The chances of BJP are getting better in Madhya Pradesh but even if the BJP wins the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, Chauhan may not be the choice for the post of CM.
Rajasthan: A new beginning by breaking the norm?
The Congress is trying to break the norm of alternate governments in the state. Former Deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot had hit the street to expose corruption during the past BJP governments. The Ashok Gehlot government failed to do anything about the corruption of the BJP regime. Pilot’s protest failed to break much ice but he was included in the Congress Working Committee to cajole him. Now, both the leaders – Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot -- have been made part of the campaign panel for the Rajasthan elections. The BJP is trying to corner the Congress on the law and order issue on which the Congress doesn’t have the answer. All is not honky dory in BJP with Vasundhara Raje sidelined. So, Vasundhara and Pilot factors are very crucial in Rajasthan.
(Vinod Kumar Shukla)

free stat counter