Move gives ammo to Cong ahead of polls.
New Delhi: Dynastic politics is all set to dominate the forthcoming Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections expected to be held later this year. Despite the BJP’s robust and repeated criticism of dynasty politics, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s elder son Kartikeya made his political entry on Sunday. Addressing a public rally in Shivpuri, he took on the Congress’ Jyotiraditya Scindia, accused by the BJP to be a beneficiary of dynastic politics.
Kartikeya, 22, who was addressing a convention of the Dhakad community while campaigning for a BJP candidate for the upcoming Assembly by-election in Kolaras, asked people not to look at the BJP candidate but vote in the name of his father, the chief minister.
The Congress, which won just 58 seats, as opposed to the BJP’s 165 seats in the 230-member Assembly in 2013, has slowly been gaining ground.
In the by-elections held in Madhya Pradesh last year November, the Congress had defeated the BJP by a margin of over 14,000 votes. The Congress’ recent performance in Gujarat Assembly elections has also boosted the party’s morale.
The Congress is expected to focus on rural distress and farmer issues in the state. The party has demanded immediate implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report, and complete farm loan waiver.
In June last year, police allegedly opened fire on protesting farmers in Mandsaur, killing five. The issue snowballed into a political controversy with the Congress and the BJP trading charges, and Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Congress’ Lok Sabha MP from Guna, holding protest marches and meetings with farmers, while the chief minister sat on hunger strikes.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also wanted to visit the affected area but was not allowed. Later, senior Congress leaders from the state, including Digvijaya Singh, Kamal Nath and Scindia visited the area.
With Mr Gandhi in-charge of the Congress, the focus now is also on collating and corroborating dirt on BJP leaders that will stick. Details of corruption charges against some saffron leaders are being collected.
Interestingly, in a bid to drop the pro-minority tag, former chief minister and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh is on a 3,300-km, six-month long Narmada Parikrama — a spiritual journey on foot along the banks of the river that entails temple visits. The party is hopeful that farmers’ agitation, anti-incumbency and their own improving morale will catapult them to power in the state. The Congress, however, is yet to decide on the name of the leader who will lead the party in the polls.