Hindutva, freebies and Modi magic to drive BJP’s anti-incumbency push

Hindutva, freebies and Modi magic to drive BJP’s anti-incumbency push.

PRAVEEN DWIVEDI

Bhopal, June 18 (IANS) With the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh just five months away, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is reeling under a combination of factors — anti-incumbency after two decades of rule and face-fatigue of it’s 18-year-long Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Besides these, the ruling side is also struggling with rampant factionalism coming to the fore at intervals along with allegations of huge corruption in the government. This has compelled the party’s central leadership to take command in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh. Highly placed sources in the BJP claimed that the state leadership has been told to follow the central leaders’ instructions.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan indicated last month that the party will be fully reliant on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the upcoming polls. “I am confident that the BJP will be back in power in Madhya Pradesh,” Chouhan said, adding that, “Unke (Congress) ke paas kya hai? (for winning the election). Hamare paas toh Narendra Modi hai (What do they have? We have Narendra Modi).
The BJP is yet to reveal its cards, but being the ruling party under the leadership of Chouhan it is utilising all possible means, especially mega schemes targeting particular sections of voters. The BJP has high hopes from it’s much-hyped ‘ladli behna yojana’ a financial scheme for women under which the government provides them Rs 1000 per month. The first instalment from the scheme has already been released into 1.25 crore beneficiaries’ accounts.
Until six months back, the state BJP was banking on the development work done during it’s two-decade rule and a month long ‘Vikas Yatra’ was organised in all the 230 assembly constituencies.
In the meantime, the Opposition cornered the BJP over rampant scams. The recent incident of the ‘Mahakal Lok’ corridor where Saptarshi idols fell to the ground last month with the state Lokayukta initiating a probe has damaged the BJP a lot, said political analyst N. K. Singh.
In his efforts to reduce anti-incumbency, Chouhan had started a ‘question war’, hurling accusations against the earlier Kamal Nath led Congress government. However, that tactic also could not succeed as the Congress turned it into its 15- month government vs the BJP’s 15-year rule. Faced with high anti-incumbency, the state BJP, according to sources, has planned to go back three decades to dig out corruption issues during the tenure of former Chief Minister (1993-2003) Digvijaya Singh.
Dubbing Digvijaya Singh’s 10-year tenure as ‘jungle raj’, the BJP’s strategy planners have begun circulating video messages on social media accounts. Political observers believe that besides all these experiments, the BJP will use it’s ‘Hindutva’ card to mobilise the majority community.

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