The impact of the BJP’s historic victory in the Gujarat assembly elections has accelerated the demand for a change in BJP leadership in Madhya Pradesh, with leaders claiming that the party could lose the state due to raging anti-incumbency against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s fourth term government. The rising demand, however, has put the BJP’s central leadership in a bind amid apprehensions that a Gujarat-style operation could be counter-productive in other states with reasonably influential regional faces. While BJP leaders in Delhi commented that they were aware of the large unrest and aggression against the incumbent government in Madhya Pradesh, the top leadership was unsure whether dropping Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan would resolve the problem. As a result, in the absence of a replacement candidate, Chouhan remains as CM. The RSS workers, on the other hand, are certain that Chouhan, like Sushil Modi, will be shown the exit.
THE ‘YATRA’ TREND
Both Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as well as the State unit of the Congress party are scheduled to embark on separate yatras across Bihar on 5 January 2023. Nitish Kumar will commence a nearly month-long march from West Champaran district, where the land has close ties and associations with Mahatma Gandhi’s first major Satyagraha against British rule. This Yatra by Kumar is significant because it is seen as his second attempt to gain people’s active support for enforcing the prohibition on the ground. On the other hand, the Congress will launch the Bharat Jodo Yatra from Bihar’s Banka district to Bodh Gaya, with stops in Bhagalpur, Khagaria, Begusarai, Darbhanga, and Patna along the way to broaden its reach and influence. It will be led by the party’s president, Mallikarjun Kharge.
CONSENT FOR PARTICIPATION
As the countdown begins for Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra to enter Jammu and Kashmir in the second half of January, a number of mainstream politicians, including the National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, the PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, and the CPIM’s MY Tarigami, have agreed to participate in the Yatra. KC Venugopal, the Congress General Secretary and in-charge of the organisation, called the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra a national padayatra and stated that the party will hoist the national flag in Kashmir.