Is BJP fighting a losing battle in Madhya Pradesh?

BJP’s three major political campaign to woo voters and party workers before assembly poll got a lukewarm response in comparison to its 2008 and 2013 campaigns

Is BJP fighting a losing battle in Madhya Pradesh?
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Kashif Kakvi

The Jan Ashirwad Yatra of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, launched to seek voter’s blessings ahead of assembly polls, due on November 28, ended abruptly last week.

Union Minister and state election in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan announced it on October 26, after a poor show in Jabalpur and Gwalior.

The yatra, which began on July 14, 2018, from Ujjain, was scheduled to cover all 230 assemblies of the state and CM Chouhan was to address 700 public rallies. However, it only covered 187 assembly constituencies and 500 public rallies owing to poor public response, especially after the announcement of polling date.

Soon after, the party announced to launch Janadesh (public mandate) Yatra from October 31, 2018, and CM Chouhan will be the lead campaigner of the Yatra.

Since the inception of the Jan Ashirwad Yatra, the Opposition Congress has been accusing CM Chouhan of using government machinery to draw crowds.

During the event, CM Chouhan, who addressed the youngsters through video conferencing, however got a lukewarm response as they did not turn up. In some places, according to the media reports, the party workers brought school children to fill the vacant seats.

In his 75-minute speech, CM Chouhan promised to create 10 lakh jobs each year. He went on to say that the government would also monitor their progress to check if the youngsters were satisfied with their jobs or not. However, state government data mocks CM Chouhan’s claims.

According to the data, during BJP’s 15-year rule from 2003 to 2017, the state government created only 2,46,612 jobs. Of them, 2, 27, 386 jobs came from private sector and 19, 226 from the government. And now, Chouhan has promised to generate 10 lakh jobs in a year, which means 50 lakh in next five years, if voted to power. If one had to compare with its current track record, the announcement is nothing but political jumla to woo the youth voters.

BJP’s latest ‘Karyakarta Mahakumbh’ held on September 25 also saw a lacklustre participation. Of the one crore party workers in the state, as the saffron party claims, less than 3% workers turned up to the event.

BJP’s three major political campaign to woo voters and party workers before assembly poll got a lukewarm response in comparison to its 2008 and 2013 campaigns. The recent Yatra was not only a poor show but CM Chouhan also faced voter’s ire especially from farmers, dalits and youths for failing to fulfill his promises even after being in power of 15 years.

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