The promise by Congress to waive farm loans seemed to have caught imagination of the peasants in the state.
Bhopal: Name calling and personal attacks by rival leaders marked the high-octane campaigning for November 28 assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, that came to an end on Monday evening.
The campaign which had remained low key in the initial period had peaked in the last week when BJP and Congress, the principal contenders for power in MP, started carpet bombing the state with their respective star campaigners to woo the voters.
Stakes are particularly high for Congress in this poll since the party has found it in a “now or never” situation for being out of power in the state since last 15 years.
Ruling BJP led by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also appeared determined to overcome all odds particularly anti-incumbency to retain power for a record fourth time in a row in the Wednesday’s assembly elections.
While BJP has fielded candidates in all 230 assembly seats in the state, Congress has put its candidates in 229 seats leaving the rest one to its ally, Lok Tantrik Janata Dal of Sharad Yadav.
Other prominent parties who have fielded their candidates included Mayawati’s BSP (34), Akhilesh Yadav’s SP (55) and Gandwana Ganatantra Party (GGP) (46).
A total of 2,899 candidates are in the fray in 230 seats. Incidentally, issues particularly corruptions and farmer distress have taken backseat in the later part of the electioneering with rival leaders indulging in name calling to show each other in poor light in public.
While Congress leaders called chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan as “Kansa Mama” and “Shakuni Mama”, BJP gave tags of “Raja”, “Maharaja” and “industrialist” to three factional leaders of Congress in MP, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Digvijay Singh and Kamal Nath respectively to project them as ‘elite politicians’ who were not comfortable with common people.
Both BJP and Congress have been facing rebel problems in equal measures, although, the latter appeared to have handled the issue in a better way than the former.
Both the parties feared that the rebels may play spoilsport in at least one and half dozen seats for them each. The promise by Congress to waive farm loans seemed to have caught imagination of the peasants in the state.