WITH ONLY one day left for campaigning to come to an end, the BJP stepped up its campaign to thwart the Bharatiya Janshakti attempts to eat into its votebank and woo a section of electorate unhappy with the BJP.
Within the BJP, a close vigil is being maintained on those who can sabotage to favour the BJ. According to party insiders, loyalty of certain ministers is being doubted.
Any gain to the BJ will ultimately benefit the Congress. For, it will be at expense of the BJP. So far, this equation has not bothered the BJP. Not any more. The attempts by the BJ to eat into the mass base of the BJP with its caste card, and anti-incumbency factor in certain pockets have pressed panic button in the BJP. Moreover, the Congress bid to consolidate its mass base in the constituency has made the BJP uncomfortable
The BJP is concerned over reports of anti-incumbency factor in Shamshabad, Udaipura and Kurwai. A section of electorate at Shamshabad is upset with the way Finance Minister Raghavji Bhai treated them. In Udaipura though Rampal Singh, who represents the constituency, is known for his suave image, he did not entertain their applications well.
But Lotus, the BJP symbol, being a dominating image, is something that gives a sense of relief to the party leaders. The party is using all possible means, including playing caste card to keep its base intact.
“The party has done injustice to Umaji. But this village will vote for phool (lotus),” claimed Nanhu Lal, Dheeraj Singh and others at village Mukatpura in Sanchi assembly constituency.
Kailash Vijayvargiya, in charge of party affairs at Vidisha, claimed the BJP was way ahead of other parties and there was not even remote chance of the BJP losing the seat.
Claims apart, a senior leader says the party is not optimistic about improving its victory margin this time. Perhaps, the party knows well that whatever votes the BJ will poll it will be at the expense of the BJP.
The Congress does not seem to be in danger of losing its support base among Scheduled Castes and Muslims.
The thinking in the Congress camp is if the BJ manages to get one lakh vote, the Congress will be able to turn the tables on the BJP. In 1999 Lok Sabha election, which had seen about 56 per cent polling, Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s victory margin was a little over 82,000 as compared to the big victory margin in the general election two years ago. In 2004 elections, the victory margin for Chouhan was 2.60 lakh votes.