PM wants Chouhan, Scindia to ensure BJP sweeps MP bypolls

CM Shivraj Chouhan meets Modi and Nadda, discusses polls; PM won’t campaign in the state.

With the date of voting for 28 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh bypolls announced on Tuesday, the BJP has started giving final shape to the electoral strategy to win all the seats. The Congress has left everything related to electoral strategy to Kamal Nath, but the BJP high command is keeping a close watch on the goings-on in the party in the state.

 Efforts are being made by the BJP to somehow win at least 20 seats. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president J.P. Nadda on Tuesday. According to sources, Chouhan briefed the PM on the functioning of the government in MP and also on the electionrelated preparations. The PM wants to see the BJP win all the 28 seats in byelections.

 The only worry for the BJP is that some of the ticketseekers, who have come from the Congress, are not said to be in a strong position in a survey report. But the problem is how to drop them. These leaders had left the Congress along with Jyotiraditya Scindia and joined the BJP on the condition that they would be given tickets. They were all MLAs that time.

 Of all 28 seats where bypolls will be held, 27 were won by the Congress in the 2018 state elections. Of these 27, 22 MLAs are Scindia’s supporters. On 16 of these seats in the Gwalior-Chambal region Scindia commands tremendous clout. It is said Chouhan discussed the weak candidates in his meeting with the PM. However, the PM did not say anything. The elections for 28 seats are very important for Chouhan. A bit of weak performance may spell trouble for the politics of Chouhan and Scindia in MP. The BJP may also in that case face a tough time. 

In the last one month, all the key leaders of the BJP, including Chouhan and Scindia, visited most of the seats and created a positive atmosphere in favour of the party. The BJP appears to be united, but Kamal Nath is doing everything singlehandedly. Former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh is cooperating with him, but it is not easy to give a challenge to Scindia in the GwaliorChambal region. 

The Congress’ strategy is to dent Scindia’s influence in this region. Voting will take place in all the 28 seats in MP on 3 November and results will be announced on 10 November when the Bihar elections result will also be declared.

 Now, the Congress will also deploy its stalwarts in the election campaign as electioneering gains momentum. There is no denying that Kamal Nath’s prestige is at stake in these elections. Therefore, he is sparing no efforts and working hard. It will be a big achievement if the Congress wins 10-12 seats. But it does not seem easy as the BJP is leaving nothing to chance. The BSP, which is fielding its candidates, will also cut into Congress votes. 

The Congress will be faced with a double challenge. Despite all that, the BJP is said to be a bit worried about some seats. The BJP high command has asked workers not to be careless on any seat. The BJP leadership knows that any show of weakness can give a chance to the Congress to consolidate its position. The Congress is already targeting the government over farm laws. Prime Minister Modi will not go to MP for campaign, but he will keep an eye on the entire exercise. Apart from the Bihar elections, the MP bypolls have also become quite important for BJP national president Nadda.