'Mama' wins the day for BJP in MP

'Mama' wins the day for BJP in MP

A “Mama” has once again won the day for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh, as a “Maharaja” has failed to lead the facti­on-ridden Congress to pose a significant challenge to the ruling dispensation in the State.

The BJP on Sunday retained Madhya Pradesh by winning 165 of the 230 seats in the Assembly polls and the credit undoubtedly goes to Shivraj Singh Chouhan, now fondly called as “Mama” by his young supporters. Chouhan has been leading the party’s government since 2005.

The Congress, which had won 71 seats in 2008, ended up with just 58 this time.
While Chouhan was the BJP’s poll-mascot in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress, which is divided into at least half-a-dozen factions in Madhya Pradesh, had put Union Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia – the scion of the royal family of Gwalior – in the forefront of the party’s campaign in the state, but refrained from declaring him its chief ministerial candidate. The young “Maharaja” could indeed galvanise the Congress, which has been out of power in the state since 2003, but certainly not to the extent of turning the tide in its favour.

“It is only in the BJP where even an ordinary worker like me can be chosen for an important task. It is our party organisation that has made this victory possible. Even if the BJP had chosen someone else instead of me, the party would have surely won,” Chouhan, known for his humility, told journalists in Bhopal.

Chouhan, who contested from Budhni and Vidisha constituencies, won from both seats with margins of 84,805 and 16,966 votes respectively. He vowed to win the maximum seats for the BJP from Madhya Pradesh in the parliamentary polls.

Scindia said the results were disappointing for the Congress. “This calls for a major reconstruction and introspection in the party. This was something we never expected,” he said.

Though several senior ministers of Chouhan’s government, including Babulal Gaur, Kailash Vijaywargiya, Vijay Shah, Uma Shankar Gupta, Jagdish Devda and Archana Chitnis won, his Culture Minister Laxmikant Sharma and Education Minister Anoop Mishra, a nephew of former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, lost in Sironj and Bhitarwar constituencies.

Chouhan took over as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh in 2005 after the BJP tried Uma Bharti and Babulal Gaur in the top office for two years. Apart from significant progress in agriculture and infrastructure sectors, his claims of good governance over the past eight years include raising GDP of the state from about Rs 1,00,000 crore in 2003-04 to Rs 2,21,463 crore in 2012-13 and per-capita income from Rs 13,950 in 2003-04 to Rs 43,800 in 2012-13.

He also tried to give the BJP government a secular makeover and wore a skull-cap during Id-ul-Fitr, something his Gujarat counterpart and his party’s prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi publicly refused to do. Though Modi did address a series of rallies in the state ahead of the November 25 polls, the BJP clearly relied more on Chouhan’s “Bhai-Beta-Mama” (Brother-Son-Uncle) image to win the elections in Madhya Pradesh.

Comments (+)