Scindia to visit Kolaras and Mungaoli on Wed to thank voters, Chouhan eyes party prospects in Nov elections
The bypolls saw BJP losing despite Chouhan and almost half of his cabinet campaigning extensively for their candidates.Updated: Mar 06, 2018 20:39 IST
Congress MP Jyotiradtiya Scindia will be in Kolaras and Mungaoli assembly constituencies on March 7 to thank the voters for their support to party candidates, who won the recent bypolls. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had visited Mungaoli on Sunday.
The bypolls saw BJP losing despite Chouhan and almost half of his cabinet campaigning extensively for their candidates.
Chouhan, who termed the loss in Mungaoli by a reduced margin (when compared to 2013 assembly polls) as “BJP’s victory”, was in the constituency on Sunday to attend two congregations of the beneficiaries of the government schemes. He reiterated that he would leave “no stone unturned” for the development of the area.
The BJP had lost Mungaoli in 2013 by 20,765 votes and Kolaras by 24,953 votes. In the bypolls held on February 24, it lost the two seats by 2,123 votes and 8,085 votes, respectively.
During the campaign, Scindia had reminded the voters of their ties with his “family” and repeatedly asked them about the CM’s and his ministers’ whereabouts in the past 14 years”.
BJP leaders say the chief minister is becoming aware now that if he has to win the assembly elections, slated for November this year, to return for a fourth term in power, he has to corner Scindia on his home turf.
They argue that it’s more because Scindia has “emerged stronger” after leading his party to victory in the bypolls“almost single-handedly” and if the Congress projects him as their CM face or assign the party campaign to him for the assembly polls, the BJP may find itself standing on a sticky wicket.
In the Congress’ back to back victory on four assembly in the past one year, Scindia emerged as the chief architect of the victory in three of them: Ater, Kolaras and Mungaoli.
BJP leaders say the CM may visit Mungaoli and other constituencies again in coming months but he is likely to find it difficult to explain to the voters about his and his ministers’ absence from the region for such a long time prior to the bypolls. To make matters worse for Chouhan, voice of protest against his leadership has started coming up from within the BJP after the bypolls defeat.
Former ministers Babual Gaur and Sartaj Singh and former Rajya Sabha member Raghunandan Sharma have questioned the style of functioning of the party’s top leadership.
Sartaj has declared that neither he nor any member of his family would contest the elections. “Kuchh theek nahi chal raha. Mahaul achchha nahi hai (Nothing is going in right direction. The atmosphere is not good).”
State BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agarwal said the bypoll results made it clear that BJP’s base had expanded in the two constituencies. Hence, there was nothing wrong on the CM’s part to visit one of the constituencies and announce development projects over there as he had promised during electioneering.
State Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said the CM would have hardly gone to Mungaoli had the assembly elections not been approaching. “BJP cannot succeed in misleading the voters who have trust in leadership of Scindia ji,” said Chaturvedi.