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This election season, BJP is a worried lot

Amid all the dust and noise being raised by BJP leaders in public meetings around the country and despite "resurgenging Ayodhya movement", the BJP is a worried lot, particularly over Lok Sabha polls, experts say.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2003 15:16 IST

Amid all the dust and noise being raised by BJP leaders in public meetings around the country and despite "resurgenging Ayodhya movement", the BJP is a worried lot, particularly over Lok Sabha polls, experts say.

The BJP's LSfears are being fuelled by its worries over November assembly elections, due in the four Congress-ruled states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Chhattisgarh. It will be a direct fight between BJP and Congress.

The BJP should have been confident of reaping the benefits of anti-incumbency factor. But it seems more jittery than Cong about its chances in these states.

Part of the worry can be traced to the hype surrounding the polls. Both camps see them as the semi-final before Lok Sabha polls next year and think the outcome will influence the final round.

A look at BJP units in four states gives a glimpse of the demons haunting the party. In all of them, the party is wracked by factionalism. In Delhi and Chhattisgarh, the party has not formally declared its chief ministerial aspirant.

In Delhi, Madan Lal Khurana is 'understood' to be the candidate as he is state president. But Sahib Singh Verma, too, is being propped up so that the Jat lobby is not alienated.

In Chhattisgarh, the BJP is hedging its bets between state president Raman Singh, Kurmi leader Ramesh Bais and Thakur strongman Dilip Singh Judeo.

In Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the local units continue to wage a low-key non-cooperation movement against the two women foisted by headquarters, Vasundhara Raje and Uma Bharati.

In Rajasthan, former state president Ram Das Agarwal (also the national treasurer) absented himself from the flagging off ceremony of Raje's rath yatra, despite the presence of deputy prime minister LK Advani. Two other influential leaders, Hari Shankar Bhabra and Raghuvir Singh Kaushal, have publicly criticised her decisions.

And in Madhya Pradesh, Uma Bharati is having a rough time despite all the political acumen she is said to have. Pitted against Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, she has found herself in various controversies, all whipped up by her rival. These controversies include the ridiculous "offering of a cake to Lord Hanuman to mark His birthday". Singh even roped in her brother, Swami Prasad Lodhi, who had been spouting venom against Bharati.

First Published: Oct 13, 2003 15:16 IST