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Congress frittered away Assembly poll gains in MP

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By Chandrakant Naidu

Bhopal, May 23 (IANS) With an improved performance over 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has tossed up quite a few questions about the Congress’ strategy and its execution in Madhya Pradesh.

The Congress owes its supporters a lot more by way of explanation because it came to power after 15 years and squandered the advantage in less than six months. Kamal Nath has shown a lot of restraint to turn an unruly organisation into a fighting unit. But he has apparently fallen short of expectations in an election that was fought on emotive issues rather than political logic and public issues.

The complete failure of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi to make an impact in the state may surprise even the BJP supporters. Rahul Gandhi had made seven trips to the state and Priyanka one over the past two months.

The Congress had many chinks in its armour. It was said the Congress had won the assembly elections in spite of itself because factionalism was rampant when it squared up against a considerably weakened BJP — thanks to Shivraj Singh’s inept third stint.

The BJP’s lead on 28 of the 29 seats means the Congress was not able to event retain the assembly segments it had gained in the stronghold of the former in NImar and Malwa. Kamal Nath who retained the PCC chief’s post even after becoming the chief minister is now being accused of focusing on personal interest. The only seat that the Congress might retain is Chhindwara where Kamal Nath’s son is in fray. Kamal is to make a debut in the assembly.

Even the worst of Congress critics did not anticipate such annihilation. Congress’ sole excuse was that it was left with little time to consolidate its gains due to the model code of conduct. But the 70-odd days it had for the implementation of its promises since December when it ascended to power were apparently not enough with the strong BJP-oriented bureaucracy. Some areas where benefits of rural schemes had not reached had already started turning against the Kamal Nath government. The promises were too good to be fulfilled in such short time without a backlash in the event of failures.

To set up Digvijay Singh from Bhopal was a ploy to chasten him. He was seeking to become another power centre by questioning Kamal Nath. However, to Digvijaya Singh’s credit, he ensured exceptional circumspection in ensuring a very mature response to the BJP’s challenge. But his ‘Hinduar than thou’ response to Pragya did not go down well with his secular supporters.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, the other loser, was projected as a popular choice and as a youthful chief ministerial candidate, but failed to justify that tag. Kantilal Bhuria, the former Union minister who had won a by-election in 2015, seems to have lost hold on the Contituency. This would be Bhuria’s second defeat of the career.



(This story has not been edited by Newsd staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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