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Will Digvijay be third time lucky?

With poll forecasts and political pundits predicting his doom, will chief minister Digvijay Singh be third time lucky or mood of change sweep Madhya Pradesh on December 1?

india Updated: Nov 29, 2003 22:03 IST

With poll forecasts and political pundits predicting his doom, will chief minister Digvijay Singh be third time lucky or mood of change sweep Madhya Pradesh on December 1?

This has become a million dollar question as the campaign for the battle of the ballot turns into a keen tussle between a Raja and a Sanyasin.

The never say die chief minister had almost achieved the impossible in 1998 by defeating BJP when everyone had written him off for a second term.

"You can fool all the people for some time, but cannot fool them all the time," is the punchline of an aggressive BJP which is sensing power in the wake of power crisis in the state.

Singh, who has declared that he would not hold any post for ten years in the event of a Congress defeat, is still maintaining with a straight face that his party would bag anything between 125 and 135 seats out of a total of 230.

Uma Bharti, Digvijay Singh's arch-rival and BJP's chief ministerial candidate, speaks about a comfortable majority for her party but says "I do not take time, people and god for granted."

BJP's Uma card assumes signficance in view of the fact that she belongs to the OBC category and the state has a sizable population of backwards and has undergone a lot of churning in the wake of the Mandal Commission report.

Madhya Pradesh never had a backward or a woman chief minister as the top post always went to upper castes in a scenario dominated by feudals and ex-royals.

The electoral outcome depended on the impact of how deep are the sentiments of the people over the power crisis and bad roads at a time when the opposition is busy projecting the record of Digvijay worse than that of Bihar's Laloo Prasad Yadav.

The campaigning has led to Digvijay earning many a sobriquet from the opposition including king of potholes and Mr disaster.

First Published: Nov 29, 2003 22:03 IST