With voters showing indifference towards the by-polls scheduled for the tribal-predominant Ratlam-Jhabua parliamentary constituency on November 21, the Congress and the BJP are finding it difficult to gauge which way the mandate will shift.
Both the parties have drawn leaders and workers who specialise in electoral politics from neighbouring districts to ensure their victory in the ST-reserved constituency which is spread across three districts comprising eight assembly segments.
“It’s difficult to say what voters think. The same people are attending both Congress and BJP election rallies and public functions. But we’re hopeful (of a win) as our party has good voter-base at the village panchayat level,” a Congress party leader from Alirajpur district said on the condition of anonymity.
While both the parties have been holding public rallies since September to draw voters to their fold, the Congress and BJP also plan to turn the filing of nomination papers into a show of strength to impress potential voters.
Senior Congress leaders and MP Congress Committee office bearers will accompany party candidate Kantilal Bhuria when he is expected to file nomination papers on Tuesday.
“We’re all behind Bhuriaji and will be there when he files nomination,” said MP Congress Committee general secretary and ex-state Women Congress president, Archana Jaiswal who will be campaigning in Ratlam-Jhabua parliamentary constituency for next 15 days.
The BJP plans a similar show of strength when its candidate Nirmala Bhuria will file her nomination on November 4. CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chouhan, party MLAs from Indore and Ujjain divisional are likely to be present.
The Ratlam-Jhabua parliamentary seat fell vacant after death of BJP MP Dilip Singh Bhuria in June this year.
Gayatri Raje files nomination papers
BJP candidate Gayatri Raje Puar on Monday filed her nomination papers for the by-elections to be held in Dewas assembly constituency on November 21. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was present on the occasion.