By L.S. Herdenia
BHOPAL: Congress is facing a three-pronged attack: besides BJP, both Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party have also mounted severe criticism of the Congress. Both the parties have accused Congress of nearly betraying the anti-BJP voters determined to end the 15 year saffron rule of the state.
Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav during their visit to the state addressed public meetings and interacted with media. Both the leaders claimed that Congress-BSP-SP alliance could have captured at least 200 seats in the house of 230. SP favoured BSP in the proposed Congress-led alliance in Madhya Pradesh but Congress discarded the move, claimed Akhilesh Yadav.
“We would have won more than 200 seats out of 230 had Congress formed an alliance with BSP, SP and the Gondwana Gantantra Party (GGP),” Akhilesh said in Bhopal.
SP didn’t accept a Congress offer for an alliance because the Rahul Gandhi-led party was not ready to include BSP in the proposed coalition, Yadav told reporters at a press conference after the launch of his party’s poll manifesto. “So we decided that if the Congress is not ready to form the alliance with the BSP we will also not enter into an alliance”, he said. By not forging an alliance with us the Congress has given us an opportunity to criticise them”. Yadav quipped.
The statement of the SP chief comes on a day when BSP supremo Mayawati was also in the state capital.
The SP chief claimed that their manifesto was farmer-centric. It promises to give Rs. 20 lakhs to the kin of farmers who have committed suicide.
Attacking the BJP, Yadav alleged that the saffron party takes refuge in caste, Ram temple, cow etc. when it is cornered on issues like demonetisation, GST and its poll promise of creating two crore jobs. The SP is contesting 51 seats in Madhya Pradesh. In the 2013 assembly elections the SP had drawn a blank.
Mayawati said that Congress, like the BJP, was conspiring to “finish off” the BSP in Madhya Pradesh. This is the reason Congress wanted to allot weak seats (where Congress was weak) to BSP in the state. Such attitude was the main hurdle in finalising seats sharing and adjustment in Madhya Pradesh, she alleged.
Addressing a public meeting at BHEL Dusehra Maidan, Mayawati said, “When there was no scope of seat sharing BSP finally decided to contest on its own in MP.” Congress is looking frustrated due to the dominance of BSP in bordering districts of Uttar Pradesh, she added.
“Congress is under a misconception that it can defeat the BJP on its own, but the ground reality is that people have not forgiven Congress for its mistakes and corruption. Congress doesn’t seem to be ready to rectify,” Mayawati added.
She called on the party workers to be alert against the tactics of BJP and Congress which may do many things to damage the BSP in MP till the last moment.
Meanwhile, hinting at a post-poll alliance, Congress media chief Randeep Singh Surjewala said that options are open for like-minded parties to join the government if Congress comes to power after the elections. Some of the parties came forward to form an alliance, but now it’s too late to have any tie-up but an option remains that if Congress formed the government the parties of similar mindset can join it, he said.
In view of day to day increase in the anti-incumbency climate, the BJP has intensified its propaganda machinery. It has mobilised a galaxy of national leaders and is organising public meetings, rallies, road shows and media meets for them. Besides Prime Minister Narendra Modi, those who are touring Madhya Pradesh include party president Amit Shah, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Ravishankar Prasad and Smriti Irani and MP Hema Malini.
Most of the BJP candidates are facing hostile crowds during their campaign. In one shocking incident BJP candidate Dilip Singh Shekhawat from Nagda-Khachrod faced an awkward moment when a youth put a garland made of slippers around his neck. Among others who faced such ugly incidents include Revenue Minister Umashankar Gupta, who was heckled while campaigning in Arjun Nagar slum area of Bhopal; Education minister Deepak Joshi faced public ire at Haat Pipliya constituency; Rajesh Sonkar, BJP MLA from Sanver near Indore, was manhandled in Bisakhedi village; BJP candidate Arun Bhimawad’s vehicle was vandalised in Shajapur while Khilchipur BJP MLA Hajarilal Dangi had to be rescued when people were throwing stones at him; MLA Omprakash Saklecha was turned away by villagers in Jawad.
The dressing down of BJP ministers and MLAs by the public in different constituencies across the state has sent the ruling party into a tizzy. Party president Amit Shah, who is campaigning for the party in Madhya Pradesh, had to convene an emergency meeting in the state capital late on Monday night.
Officially the party is tight-lipped about the late night meeting held at party headquarters, but sources say the growing anti-incumbency forced the state and the national top brass to devise a new election strategy.
Only five days are left for active campaigning and anger that even the ministers are facing in their areas has brought the anti-incumbency factor to the fore.
The biggest poll plank of Congress in this election season is anti-incumbency which their leaders are saying openly. State Congress chief Kamal Nath has been repeatedly targeting BJP over ill governance and how people are fed up. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh waded into the thick of campaign on Wednesday alleging that under PM Narendra Modi’s rule national security is in peril, corruption has peaked and “credibility of our institutions systematically denigrated”,
“A careful well-thought out and calibrated effort is being made by the powers that be to weaken institutions. Democracy and rule of law are under attack. We have to fight this onslaught on our institutions otherwise history shall never forgive us,” Singh stated. (IPA Service)
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