Lok Sabha elections 2019: BJP banks on nationalism, Congress on ‘promises kept’

Published on Mar 24, 2019 07:58 AM IST

The contest for 10 Lok Sabha reserved seats of the total 29 in Madhya Pradesh is interestingly poised with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) focussing on central schemes and the surge of nationalism after the Pulwama terror attack.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj, Rahul Gandhi(Sushil Kumar/HT FILE PHOTO)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj, Rahul Gandhi(Sushil Kumar/HT FILE PHOTO)
Hindustan Times, Bhopal | By

The contest for 10 Lok Sabha reserved seats of the total 29 in Madhya Pradesh is interestingly poised with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) focussing on central schemes and the surge of nationalism after the Pulwama terror attack.

Congress whereas is expecting the continuation of its good run in the state assembly polls and several new initiatives unveiled for socially disadvantaged sections to make a mark, leaders of the two rival parties said.

Of 10 reserved seats in the state, six are meant for ST and four for SC. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BJP had won 27 seats including all the 10 reserved seats. Later, Congress won the bypoll for the Ratlam (ST) seat.

In the November-December assembly polls, Congress won 47 of the 82 reserved seats. If the assembly results are considered for Lok Sabha seats, Congress has an advantage in four ST seats — Khargone, Dhar, Ratlam and Mandla — as well as two SC seats — Bhind and Ujjain, say analysts.

According to Election Commission data, the BJP suffered badly in the tribal seats with the party managing to get only 16 of the 47 seats in the 2018 assembly polls. Congress won 30. Among the SC seats, BJP did better by winning 18 of 35.

A BJP leader said apart from anti-incumbency, the party had to face ire because of the Supreme Court judgment to repeal certain stringent sections of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Gajendra Patel, state president of the BJP’s tribal wing, said, “Nationalism is certainly a big issue in this election.”

Congress tribal leader Bala Bachchan said:“The tribals were betrayed during rule... Our government has fulfilled 83 promises in about two-and-a-half months. People will support us again.”

Political observer Girija Shankar said: “There is still no leadership in BJP at the forefront which can understand and address the issues concerning SCs and STs.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ranjan Srivastava leads HT’s coverage from Bhopal. He has spent more than two decades in journalism in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, covering political and other affairs. For the past 16 years, he has been working in Madhya Pradesh.

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