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How newly formed Kamal Nath government led to debacle of Congress in Madhya Pradesh?

Madhya Pradesh State Congress is the epicenter of political dynasties and all senior leaders failed to make any inroads for the party in the Central state.

By Ashish Mani Tiwari
Updated on :
How newly formed Kamal Nath government led to debacle of Congress in Madhya Pradesh?

With 28 parliamentarians from Central state, Saffron party on Thursday ruined the dreams of Congress to take on the Modi magic especially in Hindi heartland. Grand old Party’s devastation in Madhya Pradesh explains the true outcome of newly formed Kamal Nath led Congress government in the State.

Madhya Pradesh Congress believed in local issues and claimed to have delivered on its poll promises. However, ground reality was totally different and there was a lack of communication between ground level workers and state leadership.

Madhya Pradesh State Congress is the epicenter of political dynasties and all senior leaders failed to make any inroads for the party in the Central state. 

INC candidate from Jabalpur Vivek Tankha is the son-in-law of late Ajay Narayan Mushran & former finance minister of Madhya Pradesh. Tankha made a pro- Mahakaushal pitch and focused on the BJP’s unmet promises on defence corridor and tourism hub for Jabalpur. The party had hoped that this coupled with quickly delivered farm loan waivers in the state would help the party in swinging its political fortunes in the whole Mahakaushal region, while senior leaders were totally away from the ground reality and grass root level workers had always desired for a local candidate.

Madhya Pradesh BJP President and Jabalpur candidate Rakesh Singh cruised an overwhelming victory over Tankha.  Singh got a crushing response from Jabalpur voters and secured 8, 26,454 votes and Tankha only received 3,71,710 votes.

Congress party’s candidate from Sidhi, Ajay Singh is the son of late Arjun Singh and former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. His aggressive speeches and arrogance towards party workers led the debacle of the party in Vindhya region. Being on weak wicket since 2018, Ajay Singh lost assembly election from his hometown Churhat and came to Sidhi to take on the political stalwart of Vindhya Riti Pathak in Lok Sabha elections. While campaigning in Sidhi Ajay Singh has announced that “He would quit politics, if he loses the Lok Sabha election”.

Riti Pathak of BJP defeated Ajay Singh with a margin of over two lakh votes. Pathak secured 6,98,342 votes & Ajay Singh managed 4,11,818 votes. 

Overhyped and extremely aggressive politician, Jyotiraditya Scindia is the son of late Madhavrao Scindia and former Union Minister of India. Since independence, Congress has never faced defeat at Guna- Shivpuri constituency in Gwalior division. While speaking to several locals of Shivpuri, every voter in the same tone stated “Scindia ji always give big promises of development, but it’s a dream only”. Guna is one of the most backward districts in the country, according to the NITI Aayog 2018 report. Jyotiraditya Scindia being one of the most influential leaders of Congress, the party always utilized Scindia’s aggressive image to woo young voters, but at his home turf Scindia faced a historic blow against himself.

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Scindia secured 4,88,500 votes, while his arch-rival BJP’s KP Yadav managed 6,14,049 votes.

Induction of Digvijaya Singh into State Politics

Once upon a time in Madhya Pradesh, Digvijaya Singh was the sole face of Congress in the state, but political equations change drastically and take nasty turns.  Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath had said at Chhindwara in March 2019, “I have urged Digvijaya Singh to contest from one of the toughest seats. There are some seats from where we have not won elections for 30 to 35 years.”

Political analysts were the view of that, after inducting Digvijaya Singh Congress was hopeful of locking a secular image in the entire state. However, ground reality was totally diverse and after speaking to several Bhopal voters, they clearly stated that “Those ten years of Digvijaya Singh regime as Chief Minister, cannot be ruled out, from 1993 to 2003, we suffered a lot”.

Kamal Nath did not get the right pulse of Madhya Pradesh voters

It must be attributed to Kamal Nath for the poor selection of candidates, not listening to ground level workers, ignoring vital poll agendas and believing in some leaders, who could not get the right mood of voters. Since, from the inception of campaigning, Kamal Nath & his poll strategists were only vocal on unemployment allowances and farmers loan waiver promises, which were assured during assembly elections.

GST & demonetization polls issues were on the back seat, specifically, Hindutva was only the factor for both Congress and BJP. However, BJP who fielded Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur in Bhopal got better of both Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath.

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Sadhvi enjoys support from various Hindu groups of the state, including the RSS and projecting her in Bhopal conveyed a positive image of saffron forces in entire central India.

Even in Kamal Nath’s bastion Chhindwara, Congress was not able to make a big difference. Nakul Nath, son of Kamal Nath defeated BJP’s Nathansaha Kawreti by a margin of 37,536 votes.

Kamalnath with a wafer-thin majority in 230 members, assembly is ruling Madhya Pradesh and also the Chief of Madhya Pradesh Congress, his strategies and road map for Lok Sabha elections have totally failed in Madhya Pradesh. Kamalnath needs to bring back his development model to revive Congress in the state.

(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. Newsd neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)