Parties prepare for bypolls in Madhya Pradesh

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on June 17, 2020

Despite Covid 19 pandemic in the State, both the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress has started campaigning for the 24 Assembly seats even though the Election Commission is yet to announce the dates of bypolls. The victory is essential for Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to continue in government while the Congress believes that people will “teach the turncoats a lesson” and the party and its leader Kamal Nath can come back to power.

Senior BJP leader and spokesman Hitesh Vajpayee said since all the 22 MLAs who resigned from the Congress are now with the BJP, the party is confident of retaining the 24 seats. “They are our seats. For us, this is more than general election. The fate of the government will be decided based on this,” he said.

The BJP has formed poll management committees. The Chief Minister inaugurated the office for coordinating the poll campaigns in Bhopal on Tuesday. “We held our first strategy session soon after the inauguration. We have divided our work into various departments. An 18-member panel will coordinate the campaigns. We assume that the polls will be held in the first week of September. Government is handling Covid-19 operations. Party is handling the election management. Our works have started,” he said.

Congress working president in the State Jitu Patwari said the BJP is in a hurry to retain power. “The BJP, from its top leader Prime Minister Narendra Modi to booth-level workers, have shown no respect for the lockdown guidelines and social distancing. Madhya Pradesh is the classic example for this. We haven’t seen a more power hungry person than the State Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. He acts like a teenager,” accused Patwari.

Another working president of the Congress Ramniwas Rawat said those who deceived the people will be punished by the people. “People are unhappy with the BJP Governments at the Centre and the State. Even BJP MLAs have come out in open raising protests against the way migrant workers and farmers are being treated by the BJP governments. BJP failed to help people during Covid-19 pandemic. Farmers could not bring their produce to markets at the peak of rabi harvest,” Rawat said.

Rawat added that former Congressman Jyotiraditya Scindia’s joining the BJP will have no impact. “Scindia was with the Congress in 2003, 2008 and 2013. But the results favoured the BJP. So, it’s the people who decide on the fate of parties and their candidates,” Rawat said.

Published on June 17, 2020

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