The sweeping of the urban bodies’ polls in Madhya Pradesh by the BJP would have an impact on the administration and a wider impact on the politics of the state, suggest political observers.
Elections in MP were held in 278 civic bodies including 10 municipal corporations, 64 nagar palika parishads and 204 nagar parishads. Of these, the BJP won in all the 10 municipal corporations, in 38 nagar palika parishads and in 119 nagar parishads in the state.
The general consensus is that these results are a reflection of the popularity of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan across MP.
“The CM campaigned in the municipal corporations and nagar palika parishads but did not campaign in nagar parishads. An analysis of the results shows that while the BJP swept the municipal corporations and fared well in nagar palika parishads, the Congress still managed to win about 30% of the nagar parishads,” said political analyst Girija Shankar.
Conventionally, the BJP was always considered stronger in towns and cities while the Congress had the support of rural areas. But Shankar denied this to be true anymore.
“In the last three elections, the BJP has won everywhere so this does not hold true,” he added.
As a strategy, the BJP had decided that the CM would campaign in municipal corporations and nagar palika parishads. However, the results suggest that other than the CM, none of the other BJP leaders in the state including state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan could ensure a good show for the party in the nagar parishads - the smallest of the urban bodies.
Meanwhile, the results are also being termed as a setback for BJP leaders including some senior ministers who were asserting themselves and speaking of a change in leadership. The results also exposed top leaders of both BJP and Congress who could not ensure victory in their backyards.
While the BJP lost in Datia, the constituency of health minister Narottam Mishra, and lost in Shahpur, located within the Lok Sabha constituency of state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan, the Congress lost in Rewa, Satna, Sidhi and Chachauda - all considered to be the zones of influence of Congress leaders Sriniwas Tiwari, Ajay Singh and Digvijaya Singh.
The election results have also sent out a message to the administration that the BJP has full control over the government.