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Madhya Pradesh elections 2018: While development issues take a back seat, potshots lead the poll season

Political analysts say that as poll campaign gained momentum in the state, discussion on development took a back seat.

madhya pradesh elections Updated: Nov 28, 2018 08:16 IST
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Madhya Pradesh Election 2018,Madhya Pradesh Election 2018 News,Madhya Pradesh Constituency
People attend a BJP election campaign ahead of Madhya Pradesh assembly elections on November 20.(PTI Photo)

Personal attacks and digs were rampant during the election campaign in Madhya Pradesh this time, even as development issues seemed take a back seat.

The state goes to poll on Wednesday.

Talking about the rise of fuel price last week, film actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mother’s age to the falling value of Indian rupee.

Bharatiya Janta Party spokesperson Sambit Patra made an issue of Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s gotra, after the latter visited Ujjain’s famed Mahakal temple.

Political analysts say that as poll campaign gained momentum in the state, discussion on development took a back seat.

GP Nema, a retired professor of political science at Dr Hari Singh Gour University said, “It has almost become a fashion to raise such issues which are hardly related to people.”

Also read | Madhya Pradesh is the most crucial among the five states going to the polls

The election campaign came to an end on Monday evening.

BJP leaders criticised Gandhi for visiting temples during his campaign and for the hoardings in Bhopal and Rewa (where Brahmans dominate political equations) that referred to him as ‘Shivbhakt’ and ‘Pundit’.

They said that these descriptions misled voters.

Gandhi visited Bhopal soon after his pilgrimage to Kailash-Mansarovar. The 48-year-old, who calls himself a devotee of Shiva, tweeted photos of his journey from there.

State Congress Committee president Kamal Nath was ridiculed for his age, health and alleged proximity to industrialists, while CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan was called a ‘madari’ (street performer), and linked to Vyapam and e-tendering scams.

The Central Bureau of Investigation gave a clean chit to the CM last year while filing a chargesheet in the Vyapam scam.

Chouhan took potshots at unnamed Congressmen who were ministers in the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government, and said that they were known as Mr 10 Per Cent.

State Congress media in charge Shobha Oza said, “Our state president Kamal Nath ji asked more than 40 specific questions related to farmers, women, traders, government employees, and law and order , but there was no response from the BJP on a single question. The Congress hardly indulged in any below- the-belt attacks.”

State BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said, “Congress was hardly serious in raising development issues. Their only goal was how to tarnish the image of the CM by using several adjectives for him.”

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First Published: Nov 28, 2018 08:16 IST