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  India   All India  08 Dec 2018  Congress to suffer for not backing Jyotiraditya Scindia?

Congress to suffer for not backing Jyotiraditya Scindia?

Published : Dec 8, 2018, 7:05 am IST
Updated : Dec 8, 2018, 7:05 am IST

Congress however still hoped to sail through the polls “comfortably” with its populist “farm loan waiver” promise.

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia (Photo: PTI)
 Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia (Photo: PTI)

Bhopal: Congress would have faced no “ifs and buts” on its chances of returning to power in Madhya Pradesh in the November 28 assembly elections, had the party declared Jyotiraditya Scindia as its chief ministerial candidate. This view is being expressed not only by a strong section of Congress but also by the ruling BJP leaders.

“In fact, we were a little apprehensive that the Congress would play the Scindia card in the last moment by declaring him a chief ministerial candidate a week before the polls. We were sitting with our fingers crossed even till the eve of polling day hoping that such a development should not take place”, a senior BJP leader confided before this newspaper on Friday.


“Our ground level reading was that the Congress could have effectively created and accentuated the anti-incumbency factor in the run up to polls to harm the prospects of BJP by playing the Scindia card,” the BJP leader, one of the key poll strategists of the party, revealed.

As various exit polls indicated a cliff hanger battle in MP, the decision by the Congress to leave the issue of chief ministerial candidate in ambiguity seemed to have robbed the party of the opportunity to exploit the natural anti-incumbency caused by 15-year-rule of the BJP, political observers said.

The BJP has in fact made Mr Scindia as its “fulcrum” of campaign strategy by identifying him as the key target and accordingly coined a catchy slogan Maf Karo Maharaj, hamara neta Shivraj (Sorry Maharaj, our leader is Shivraj Singh Chouhan). Mr Scindia, the scion of erstwhile Gwalior royal family, is known as Maharaj among his followers.


Congress however still hoped to sail through the polls “comfortably” with its populist “farm loan waiver” promise.

“The loan waiver promise by Congress has caught the imagination of farmers in rural pockets. This is evident from the hesitations demonstrated by farmers to repay their farm loans.

Given the past trend, around Rs 3000 crore of farm loans should have been repaid in the current kharif season thus far. But, hardly Rs 264 crore of farm loans has so far been repaid till now”, a Congress spokesman here said.

The Congress leader interestingly countered the claim by BJP that a high polling (by around two percent over the last assembly polls) was witnessed in this election, saying that if addition of nearly 30 lakh voters in the voters’ list this time was taken into account, the polling percentage this elections has effectively fallen by rather two percent, which should be a cause of worry for the ruling party, he added.


An internal assessment by Congress has said the party will secure 123 out of total 230 seats in the elections, a senior Congress leader disclosed to this newspaper requesting anonymity.

The ruling BJP on the other hand appeared to have relied totally on its star campaigners chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Prime Minister Narendra, the later acted as a poll pinch hitter in the last one week before the elections countering the anti-incumbency to a large extent.

“There was no wave in the elections. The party which fielded deserving candidates will win”, veteran BJP leader and former chief minister Babulal Gaur said.

Rebel issue seemed to have hit BJP more than Congress in the polls.


Tags: assembly elections