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Can the Congress avoid Another Defeat in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections?

November 18, 2013

Once bitten, twice shy. The idiom doesn’t hold any relevance for Indian political parties looking to regain lost ground in elections. The stakes for the Congress party are very high in Madhya Pradesh assembly elections, as it is staring at a near-complete chance of being defeated for the third consecutive time. Being powerful at the center is no consolation for the “grand old party” of India as a crucial state in central India remains out of its reach. Coming to the moot point, what are the chances of the Congress being pushed to the corner in this fierce battle to assume the seat of power?

There’s a questionable absence of party’s importance in the state constituencies and an alleged ‘mismatch’ between the top Congress leaders and ground-level party members. A handful of personalities, such as union ministers Kamal Nath and Digvijay Singh, are the only forces that keep the Congress in the race. Like other non-Congress States, Madhya Pradesh also mirrors the disintegrated functioning within the party. ‘Dismal’ may be too harsh a label to describe the party’s position in the state, but the facts reveal that it has less than one-third of the assembly seats under its name.

In a recent blow to the party, the Congress MP from Hoshangabad switched sides and joined the BJP. When an MP leaves a party, he takes along with him a band of followers, and that’s a significant number, presumably. More brownie points were in store for the BJP as the ex-Congress member accused senior leaders of Congress party of taking bribe in exchange for election tickets. Meanwhile, the BJP is trying to get into the collective consciousness of its voters by promising largesse. Once again, the youth seems to be the would-be beneficiary of the initiatives the party has mentioned in its recently released election manifesto.

From promising smart phones to government college students, and laptops to the meritorious students, the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to come in the good books of the state youth. A slew of proposed welfare schemes include self-employment schemes and construction of 15 lakh houses for the landless. The party also expanded the ambit of its manifesto and included farmers’ welfare. Besides announcing a new crop insurance policy, it also declared its intention of launching Provident Fund scheme for agricultural workers.

An apolitical analysis of the manifesto suggests that the BJP has taken a holistic approach. Whether the measures will be put in practice or not is subject to debate, but the attempt to encompass all strata of the society is somewhat impressive. Providing land on lease to the slum dwellers and an assurance to connect every village with an all-weather road in coming five years are promises intelligible enough to the voters to dwell upon.

The Congress party stalwart and the present union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia took a dig at the BJP’s poll promises and claimed that the Madhya Pradesh government is “misleading people by describing Centre’s scheme as their own.” However, this nullification attempt is unlikely to fetch Congress the votes it needs to form the majority. It has to take the road less travelled, and put up a united front in the state. The era is long gone when you could project your political potency by belittling the shoddy work done by your opposition. No matter how big a party is, it simply can’t thrive on the wrongdoings of its opponents. It has to do the right things, and do them right.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed are of those of the author and do not represent the views of

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Not too much of a social person.Like to be with just a handful of people, aspire to lead a healthy and happy life with a satisfying job in hand. Hate fake people and more than that I get offended with lies.Can't butter people no matter what the reason be!!