THE ELECTORATE of the Vidisha constituency is visibly not enthusiastic about the by-election. This has rattled the BJP as the party hopes to increase its victory margin over the previous election with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh staking his prestige on the by-poll.
This is amply reflected in the anxiety of BJP’s poll managers Surendra Singh Bhadoria and Pawan Sharma. Sitting at the BJP sector office at Devkhajuri, about 15 km from here, both are taxing their mind as to how to motivate voters to turn up in good number at polling booths on October 30.
Election is not the staple idea for the farmers now as they are busy harvesting soybean and sowing for the Rabi season. BJP workers are worried that given the lacklustre campaign, rural voters might not be adequately motivated to come out and cast their votes.
Chouhan addressed an election meeting at Devkhajuri around noon and harped on his favourite theme - development —which he has been promising for Vidisha since assuming the CM office. At this BJP fort, the CM drove home the point that Rampal Singh was contesting the election but he has put all his stakes in it.
“The election is being fought by Shivraj Bhaiya who is more popular here. Rampal Singh is his representative. Hence Vidisha
would see a lot of development after BJP’s victory,” claimed Sharma.
Why could not the constituency develop during the CM’s five Lok Sabha terms? Pat came the reply: “He (Chouhan) was not responsible for it, it’s rather the mismatch of different parties ruling at the Centre and in the State.”
Not even the shadow of the Budhni by-election campaign glitter is visible in Vidisha. Campaign is still dull despite the CM leading his team from the front.
BJP leaders, however, feel the party cannot afford to be complacent or overconfident about the prospects notwithstanding Vidisha’s profile being loaded in favour of the saffron brigade. A number of party leaders and ministers are either camping in the constituency or frequenting it to ensure that Vidisha does not prove a Harda. Setback in Harda local body election has set larm bells ringing for the ruling party.
Bharatiya Janshakti (BJ) is nowhere in the contest but the BJP cannot afford to ignore Uma Bharati either. She is feverishly trying to cash in on the sympathy factor while speaking about injustice meted out to her by the BJP.
If the Congress could win because of a division of the saffron brigade votes or because of caste combinations, Janshakti would still like to celebrate this defeat.
BJ national vice-president Prahlad Patel admits that as far as election management is concerned the Janshakti comes to third position.
But in the next four days the party would overshadow the BJP and the Congress in poll management, he adds.
“In terms of public support Janshakti is no. 1.
Hence, a better election management would yield expected results for the party,” he said.