Leaderless C'gharh over performs compared to MP, Raj

Leaderless C'gharh over performs compared to MP, Raj

Bhupesh Baghel

A virtually leaderless Congress has delivered for the party in Chhattisgarh what the star-studded leadership of the party in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan could not do.

After the 2013 Darbha valley, Maoist massacre that wiped out almost entire leadership of Congress, the party’s most well-known face and the state’s first Chief Minister Ajit Jogi quit. Subsequently, the Congress was being steered in the state by second-rung leaders like Bhupesh Baghel, T S Singhvdeo and Tamradhwaj Sahu.

They seem to have delivered for Congress what the troika of stalwarts—Digvijay Singh, Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia could not do in Madhya Pradesh, where the contest is a very tight one till the time of reporting.

Similarly, in Rajasthan, which is a switch state alternating power between Congress and BSP every five years, Congress had the charismatic leadership of former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot as well as young emerging face Sachin Pilot. Here again, Congress, though seems more comfortably placed to form a government, its proportional numbers are far less than what it got in Chhattisgarh vis a vis BJP.

In the last few days of election campaign, there were indications that the BJP was trying to capitalize over the perceived rivalry between Gehlot and Pilot in a number of seats. In Madhya Pradesh, though the troika of Digvijay, Scindia and Kamal Nath, did not fight it out in open, a hidden rivalry was visible both during ticket distribution and campaigning also.

As per the figures on Election Commission website, Congress was leading in 112 seats in Madhya Pradesh as against 108 seats of BJP. In Chhattisgarh, the lead is of Congress in 59 and BJP in 17 while in Rajasthan it is 99 Congress and 74 BJP.

The fact also remains that in Chhattisgarh the difference of vote percentage between Congress and BJP in 2013 assembly elections was only 0.75 percent, while it was a whopping 12 percent in Rajasthan and 08 percent in Madhya Pradesh.