Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will form the government in Madhya Pradesh for the fifth time since 2003, aided by women, farmers and youth-centric schemes as well as effective poll campaign management, which witnessed Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding over a dozen rallies across the State

At the time of filing the story, the party had secured victory in 105 constituencies in Madhya Pradesh (MP), and was leading in another 59. In contrast, the contender, Indian National Congress, won in just 34 constituencies and was leading in 31.

Sitting Chief Minister from Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is also the longest serving CM from the State, said the victory is due to the double engine government of the BJP, work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, effective electoral campaign management by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and the work done by the party in the State, particularly with schemes targeting women, youth and farmers.

Women power

Modi, in his victory address from the BJP headquarters, on Sunday, said: “Today, I want to honour the women power of this country. In these elections, women decided to help BJP succeed.”

BJP, under Chouhan, effectively leveraged schemes centered around women, youth and farmers to create traction among the State’s population.

For instance, BJP leaders effectively highlighted the success of the Ladli Behana Yojana, under which eligible women get ₹1,250 per month. The number of women beneficiaries is around 1.31 crore, out of total 2.72 crore women voters in MP.

Another factor working in BJP’s favour were schemes focussing on jobs and skill development. The State government gave around 1 lakh jobs. It also struck a chord with the youth through the rozgaar divas (employment day) event, which was held every month and under which a loan of ₹2.5-3 lakh is given for self-employment. This scheme was called the Seekho Kamao (learn and earn) scheme.

To tap farmers, the State government ramped up the irrigation network, bringing around 27 lakh hectare under irrigation from around 7.5 lakh hectare under the previous governments. The schemes of the Centre, such as PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, were also effectively implemented in the state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held more than a dozen rallies across the state focusing on women, youth and farmers.

Mama mania

Chouhan, fondly called mama in MP, has been the state Chief Minister since 2005, barring a 15-month period from December 2018 to March 2020 when the party lost the elections to Congress.

The current assembly elections were an acid test for Chouhan as it is for the was the first time since 2003 that the BJP did not project a chief ministerial face going to the polls. The latest victory cements his position as the party’s main face in the state, pitting him strongly as a contender for the chief minister’s post.

An affable personality, Chouhan won for the sixth time from his pocket borough, Budhni, with a record margin of more than 1 lakh votes. He first won from Budhni Assembly seat in 1990, before winning a bypoll in 2006 and retaining the seat in 2008,2013 and 2018.

Chouhan was also Lok Sabha MP from Vidisha in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004.