Saturday, January 03, 2009

Madhya Pradesh analysis-December

The result of the recent assembly elections came out with no real surprise as the predictions of BJP coming back to power in the central state of Madhya Pradesh came true.

This time the BJP won 143 out of the total 230 assembly seats. In the previous election the saffron party had bagged 171 seats. Political Pundits have attributed this win to Shivraj singh Chauhan and his development oriented approach which was more than sufficient to cover the corruption charges that was synonymous with his previous government.

With the BJP top brass giving Chauhan complete charge of the state, he followed the Gujarat model whereby he denied tickets to many sitting MLAs and brought new faces.

It is also important to note that the difference between many of the winning candidates and those who lost was not much and it is quite true that on some another day BJP would have struggled to gain majority.

With the state witnessing a high polling percentage of more than 68%, both Congress and the BJP experienced contrasting emotions before the final results were announced as the general perception that a high polling percentage indicates resentment of the common mass against the incumbent government started doing the round.

But in the end, it was the Congress supporters who were left disappointed as internal squabbling and dissent left the party short of the number of seats that it was expecting.

The party under the state leadership of Suresh Pachori won 71 seats, up from the 38 seats which it won in the previous election. And it is no secret that if the selection of candidates was managed in a better way, the Congress could have definitely won more seats.

The bipolar political nature of the state was further strengthened amidst speculations of the lesser parties playing a bigger role as none of these parties could make a dent. The BSP came third winning 7 seats while Uma Bharti led BJS begged a poor 5 seats with the former CM herself losing her seat.

The disappointing performance of SP led to its state party chief being removed by SP supremo Mulayam Singh yadav. Madhya Pradesh state president Narayan Tripathi was removed and a new state president from Uttar Pradesh, Deep Narayan Yadav was appointed. Yadav is an MLA from Moth in Jhansi district of Uttar Pradesh.

State Congress party president Suresh Pachouri, was the man who was the most disappointed of all the Congress state leaders as of the 50 plus candidates that he had recommended only 8 of them could secure win.

On the other hand, Kamalnath emerged as the tallest of all, as 22 of his supporters made it to the Assembly. Former chief minister Digvijay Singh came second with 17 MLAs and Jyotiraditya was third with 13 MLAs.

Post the casting of votes and before the actual results came in, Congress was more ecstatic than the BJP as the high polling percentage gave Congress a reason to hope that it would win more than 90 seats which was what some experts had predicted.

Looking back to this election, BJP will breath a sigh of relief as the majority that it has secured is not that comforting as it appears. On the other hand Congress would curse their luck and their leaders as a better poll management and coordination among the senior leaders would have given BJP a run for their money.

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