Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Madhya Pradesh Analysis - July

As with the other state bodies of the country, buoyed with the UPA wining confidence motion in Lok Sabha, Madhya Pradesh Congress is also making efforts to boost up the party workers but its work is being hampered due to the lack of unity, as disputes between leaders refuses to disappear.

BJP gained power in the previous state elections by raking up the pitiable conditions of BSP (Bijli-Sadak Pani) in the state. According to commentators the situation in the state hasn’t improved much and continues to remain the same but the main opposition in state assembly, Congress has not been able to ‘market’ this among the mass.Anti-incumbency won’t be much a factor in the forthcoming state elections scheduled for November, hence the Congress will need to work out some other formula if it wants to dislodge BJP.

Corruption which has recently beset the state BJP was an issue that could have been developed and used as a tool by the opposition but that too was not properly utilized. According to Party functionaries even though the state has big stature leaders, yet most of them are more active in the Center and hence the state organization is not able to utilize their experience and tact. Here too the party is facing a catch-22 situation as a section of the workers are wishing for bringing the Kamal Naths and the Digvijay Singhs into the state for a prolonged inning but another section of the party fear that too many cooks will spoil the broth and will result in more intra-party disputes.

As widely reported in the local media the intraparty dispute was clearly visible in two meetings that were held in two different places. One at the state PPC office in Bhopal, Indira Gandhi Bhawan and the other at the residence of a Union Minister Kamal Nath in Delhi.

Though it was said that the meeting at Kamal Nath’s place was to deliberate the future strategy for the state but those present in the meetings say that the subject of the meeting was an individual rather than the organization.

Among others who were excluded from the meet at Delhi included AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh, Union Minister Arjun Singh and senior leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi.

Two days later, Bhopal became the hotspot as supporters of Digvijay and Arjun Singh met to work out the future strategy. The most notable of the absentee was Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief Suresh Pachauri.

As such instances of factionalism continue to come out, the view that Congress will lose hands down will grow strong.

The long standing demand of the state Congress leaders for arranging a visit of Gandhi scion to the central state was finally fulfilled as the Congress general secretary attended a special function in Bhopal and interacted with children in a school owned and promoted by a well known media group.

Rahul Gandhi also took stock of the political situation in the state through a brainstorming exercise which involved State Congress president, Suresh Pachouri and chairman of the State Congress Campaign Committee Ajay Singh.

Detractors of the state PCC chief Suresh Pachori, were left disappointed as the former union minister was praised by Rahul Gandhi for his efforts to bring the state organization into shape.

The state assembly witnessed unruly scenes as the opposition’s demand of setting up a judicial enquiry into the communal violence that was witnessed in Indore went unheeded.Setting a record of sorts no question hour could be transacted during the entire monsoon session, while more than a dozen official bills, including the supplementary budget, were passed without debate.

The state also witnessed two bandhs in the month of July; one in Indore and the other in Chindwara. Bandh was imposed in Indore after a communal clash between the supporters of the bandh led by the Hindutva group like RSS and VHP clashed with a section of the minority group. The bandh was called by these organizations to protest the decision of the Jammu and Kashmir government to revoke the decision to transfer land to Amarnath Shrine trust board.

Chindwara which is the parliamentary constituency of union commerce minister Kamal Nath, witnessed a bandh that was called by the Gondwana Gantranta party (GGP) to protest against protesting against the death of a boy at a gurukul (school) run by the asram of spiritual guru Asaram Bapu. This is the second death that has been reported in the asram in two days.

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