Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 22 February 2024 2.37 AM IST

Madhya Pradesh: Congress kneels before Scindia


NEW DELHI: When Digvijay Singh, a senior Congress leader in Madhya Pradesh, was asked about the possibility of victory earlier, he replied that this time the government is secure and there are no traitors (gaddars) in the party. Although the name was not mentioned, it was clear that the traitor was Jyotiraditya Scindia, who joined the BJP in 2018 after bringing down the Kamal Nath government.

The Congress's claim that with Scindia leaving, the party would confidently act as one and take over the government, has fallen apart now. Scindia, who gave the BJP a boost in his constituencies of influence, once again trounced Congress in the state. Leads indicate that the BJP has bucked the anti-incumbency wave and won more than 30 seats compared to 2018. Congress suffered a setback in the Chambal-Gwalior region, which was won by Scindia's support in 2018. Dominance in the 34-seat Chambal-Gwalior region is crucial to capture the state. The BJP has also captured the Malwa region, which the Congress had won five years ago.

The anti-incumbency wave in the state did not favour the Congress, which had ruled for 18 years with a break of 5 months, because of the excellence of the BJP's cadre system, which worked like a well-oiled machine. State-wide roadshows and rallies by Prime Minister Narendra Modi portraying the Congress as a corrupt party, led by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is a master tactician, stopped the leakage of votes at the booth level.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan was not made the chief ministerial candidate to avoid the anti-incumbency wave. At the same time, the popular schemes implemented by him were widely used in election campaigns. Youth were brought in anew to energize the work at the grassroots level as well as at the leadership level.

Where Congress failed

The Congress was humbled by overconfidence that the anti-incumbency wave would weaken the BJP. The party could not overcome the superiority of the BJP at the organizational level or reduce the influence of Jyotiraditya Scindia who left the party. It was wrong to think that the election could be overcome with the rallies and announcements of Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Mallikarjuna Kharge. Overconfidence led to Congress's stand that there is no need for a seat agreement with the Samajwadi Party. Congress also lost the strength of the INDIA front due to the same stand.

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