SP-BSP Using Madhya Pradesh State Assembly Contest As Springboard For National Stage
Bhopal, November 9 (TNA) The poll campaign in Madhya Pradesh is at its epak and all political players are put on the streets and in the skies trying to woo the elctorate to vote in their favour. And so while the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC) remain the key players in the state assembly elections-2023, a regional parties from the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh - the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are also struggling hard to draw enough eyeballs.
Former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, is criss-crossing the state, after the bitter fall out with the INC, which also exposed the chinks in the I.N.D.I alliance ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, is darwing good corwds in his rallies. Other than the public meetings, the SP chief is also trying to rally support from like-minded voters by personal meetings with workers and supporters of the one-time strong socialist movement in the state.
On Wednesday he addressed a public gathering in Chattarpur where he told an impressive crowd that both the Congress and BJP are two sides of the same coin, he has been promising implementation of the Caste Census in Madhya Pradesh if the party comes up with impressive numbers in the 230-member state assembly.
While voters feel that the SP is an “also ran force” in the keenly contested elections, some here are “favourably disposed towards Akhilesh’s pro-development track record of Uttar Pradesh” where he was chief minister between 2012-2017.
“I like him as a young leader who has a vision, though his party I know has a long way to go in the state as far as electoral politics is concerned”, mused a young man, who has a start-up business of card printing in Bhopal. SP, after its seat sharing negotiations failed with the INC after the verbal duel triggered by his “chut bhaiyye neta” statement and “Akhilesh Vakhilesh” jibe from Kamal Nath, has pulled out all stops to ensure that if it does not win more it does end up playing a spoiler for the INC, which is trying its hardest to regain control of the largest state in the country.
It has a fair presence in the Bhind-Morena-Gwalior region adjascent to Etawah - the Yadav clan pocketborough in UP and political analysts feel that it could end up as a vote-cutter for both the BJP and the INC at the hustings.
Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded 178 candidates and its poll alliance Gondwana Ganatantra Party (GGP) has fielded 52 taking the alliance total to 230. Mayawati began her poll campaign in MP on November 6 and is scheduled to address 9 public meetings in all by November 14.
Madhya Pradesh votes on November 17 in a single-phase voting. She has been targeting both the BJP and Congress as aprty of “dhannaseths” (rich) and has been trashing Congress promise of caste census, terming it as farce.
Mayawati though is being touted as the B team of the BJP amid allegations from other parties that she has propped up candidates at the behest of the saffron camp to cut into the Dalit and Adivasi vote bank of Congress and weaken its prospects, is targeting both national parties.
SP had won two seats in the 2018 elections and had stood second in five seats while Mayawati’s BSP had managed to win one while it was at number two in seven seats.