Despite the BJP’s impressive victory in the recently concluded Haryana and Maharashtra assembly elections, the party is a worried lot in Madhya Pradesh. Reason: The party may find it difficult to get through the civic bodies elections if it doesn’t drop a good number of incumbent corporators from the candidates’ lists.
Polls for 281 out of the total 378 civic bodies are scheduled in the first phase in November. These include 11 municipal corporations, 62 municipal councils and 208 town councils.
Party sources said whatever be the public posturing of the party leaders at the helm of affairs about the party’s victory in the assembly elections and Lok Sabha polls, they have realized well in advance that it was Modi magic which gave a boost to the party’s prospects in the elections.
They said the party had not expected more than 115-120 seats out of the total 230 in the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections earlier but it ended up getting as many as 165 seats.
Similarly, in the Lok Sabha elections the Congress could get manage just two seats out of the total 29. It was not possible without the then Prime Ministerial candidate and now the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charismatic leadership. Modi had campaigned extensively for the party in both the elections.
"The ground reality is that a good number of BJP corporators have earned a bad image because of charges of corruption against them. If they are repeated they are sure to lose the polls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma is not going to help the party for two reasons — first, civic bodies elections are ward and locality level elections and Modi is not going to campaign for the party in such elections," said a senior leader in the party talking to the HT.
The leader said what may be another cause of worry among the party leaders is the fact that nothing extraordinary work has been done by the state government for urban development in the state.
For instance, whereas Modi talked of a smart city concept, the BJP government could hardly develop any city or town as a model city/town in all these 11 years of its rule.
However, a confident state BJP spokesperson Deepak Vijayvargiya said, "The party would surely put up an impressive performance on the ground of its work done in the urban areas in the past 11 years. As far as candidature is concerned we are going to field clean faces."