Chief Minster Shivraj Singh Chouhan has flagged off election season in Madhya Pradesh with a 3000-km ‘jan ashirwad yatra’ from Ujjain to Damoh.
The yatra will cover 135 Vidhan Sabha and 25 Lok Sabha seats. It is slated to end on October 2.
The Opposition Congress, meanwhile held an activists’ meet at Udaygarh, which falls almost on Chouhan’s route.
Chouhan is holding 20-30 meetings a day on a special, tech-savvy rath from Gujarat.
“I have held panchayats with women, Dalits, tribals, farmers in the past 2 years... Most of our schemes have come out of these experiences,” he says.
Chouhan’s government is battling allegations of corruption.
Earlier this year, state health minister Ajay Bishnoi quit after charges of irregularities in medicine purchases.
But the biggest challenge for the BJP is anti-incumbency.
The Congress, meanwhile, is yet to declare a chief ministerial candidate.
The names in contention are Kamal Nath, Suresh Pachauri, Arjun Singh’s son Ajay Singh and Jamuna Devi.
Observers say Uma Bharti’s Bharatiya Janshakti Party (BJP) is unlikely to alter the outcome of the polls.
Mayawati’s BSP, too, is unlikely to make a big splash though it may increase its vote share and play spoilsport, for the Congress in particular.