NO BIG names from the Congress party, save former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh and Agriculture Minister Kantilal Bhuria (if one considers him a vote-catcher) have campaigned for its candidate Hiralal Silawat, while the other two major parties in fray – BJP and Bharatiya Janshakti - appear to be putting in a more concerted effort to win the election.
Digvijay Singh also cut short his visit. He was supposed to campaign till the evening of November 29, but he left for Indore in the afternoon after hurriedly completing his ‘road show’ that was mostly along the Indore-Khandwa highway. He did not enter any of the interior villages save Palasi, which is around three km off the highway. This despite the fact that Silawat is considered to be a Digvijay Singh follower. Bhuria was there only for a day on November 28, and left after addressing a couple of meetings.
The entire burden of the campaign has been left to State president Subhash Yadav, who has been camping there for the past fortnight. The Congress has been trying to rope in Sachin Pilot with an eye on the Gujjar vote bank. Congress State spokesperson K K Mishra said they would know for sure late in the night whether Pilot was coming or not.
For the BJP, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is leading from the front while campaigning for Devendra Verma, supported by at least half a dozen ministers who have virtually camped there for the past fortnight or so. While Chouhan himself is hopping from one public meeting to another in his helicopter, his ministers are scouring the villages by road.
The seriousness with which Chouhan is taking the election can be gauged from the fact that he was there when the nominations were filed on the 18th, he came again on the 25th and has been camping there for the past two days, and plans to stay there on Saturday also. Apart from Chouhan, BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar and vice-president Gehlot also campaigned for the candidate.
The Bharatiya Janshakti is interpreting this move as desperation on part of the BJP, and their star campaigner and sole national leader Uma Bharti is ensuring that this is heard by everyone at all the public meetings as she campaigns for Vasudev Atut.