BJP leads, Cong struggles in MP campaign

MPCC chief Kamal Nath. PTI file photo

Three weeks into the campaign, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's ongoing Jan Ashirvad Yatra on a customised, gadget-studded, chariot has managed to create quite a buzz for the ruling party in the poll-bound Madhya Pradesh.

The Congress, on the other hand, is still struggling to get its act together.  

In the absence of a demonstrable unity among top Congress leaders — MPCC chief Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijay Singh — party workers across the state seem confused and restive.

And their aggression is particularly unnerving AICC general secretary Deepak Bavaria. On Monday, Bavaria helplessly witnessed Congress workers clashing with each other for a place on the dais with him in Vidisha district, 50 km away from Bhopal.

The senior Congress leader had gone there to hold a discussion with party workers on the party’s poll prospects.

He was manhandled in Rewa district on July 29 by his own party workers. They were angry over his remark that in the event of the Congress winning the elections, either Jyotiraditya Scindia or Kamal Nath might become the chief minister.

The workers were supporters of Ajay Singh and they were infuriated that their leader was considered a prospective chief minister.

The incident was reported to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who cautioned senior Congress leaders to ensure such incidents did not take place. A clash took place in Vidisha despite his caution.

The Congress was again embarrassed when party spokesperson Noori Khan complained to Rahul about how Scindia "insulted" her in Ujjain on July 31, by asking her to step down from a stage.

Noori apologised later saying it was mistake to raise the matter in public.  

Till July 14, when BJP president Amit Shah flagged off the chief minister’s Jan Ashirvad Yatra, the Congress appeared going great guns in the wake of the nomination of Kamal Nath as PCC president.

He had spoken a lot about the unity in the party and the enthusiasm among party workers. However, the initial euphoria dissipated when top leaders chose to campaign separately instead of working in tandem.

In contrast, all party leaders in the BJP seem to be standing strong behind the chief minister. As Chouhan's chariot rolls on, the BJP organisation is looking at a well-oiled machinery, focused and unencumbered of discordant voices, at least so far.

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BJP leads, Cong struggles in MP campaign

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