November 15, 2013

SHIV-RAJ IN MP - PART V


MADHYA PRADESH 2013: THE ISSUES THAT MATTER



THE FIRST TIME VOTERS

With nearly 24 lakh youngsters voting for the first time in the upcoming polls, both the BJP and the Congress are going all out to attract them. By pitting the 41 year old Jyothiraditya Scindia against the incumbent CM, the INC is hoping that his clean image will appease the younger sections of the electorate, helping it end the ten year long power drought in Bhopal. In his rallies, the young Scindia scion is seen talking about development and generation of jobs - two issues that matter most to the youth. Meanwhile, Shivraj Singh Chauhan is relying on his Gujarat counterpart to do the same for him. The tough talking and tech savvy Narendra Modi who is also the BJP' PM candidate has caught the attention of the young Indians across the country and Madhya Pradesh is no exception. The much publicized Gujarat model of development, something that the leader never gets tired of mentioning, has caught the attention of youngsters who see it as the way forward to a brighter future. With the younger voters expected to be an important factor in deciding the outcome of this elections, it is hardly surprising to see why the to parties are keen to impress the youth.


THE MINORITY VOTES

Unlike Modi, Chauhan is very popular with the minorities too. In fact, at one point of time when NDA was looking for a new PM candidate for the 2014 polls, some section including the patriarch L K Advani favored him considering his image as a good administrator as well as a secular leader. The Madhya Pradesh CM organizes Iftar parties at his official residence and has worn the skull cap on numerous occasions. No major communal clashes have been reported from the state in his tenure. At the same time, some decisions taken by him including the singing of Vande Mataram and teaching Surya Namaskar in schools have seen opposition from Muslim organizations. As the battle for Bhopal heats up, Shivraj is not taking any chances. Former MP Arif Beig has been given a ticket from Bhopal - North. On the other hand, the elevation of Narendra Modi as the BJP's official PM nominee has given the Congress a chance to play the communal card before the state elections. Digvijay Singh, known for taking jibes at the RSS will be the party's main leader to woo the Muslims.


SMALLER PARTIES

Whosoever is in power in Lucknow tends to get about five to ten seats in Madhya Pradesh too. As such, while the Samajwadi Party (SP) had 7 seats in 2003 polls, they dropped to a single seat five years down the line as the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) grew from two to seven. As such, the SP is expected to do well in comparison with its rival in the areas adjoining Uttar Pradesh. CM Akhilesh is said to be particularly focusing on two regions - Chambal and Bundelkhand and is hoping to snatch about 15 seats from here. The party to look out for will be the Gondwana Ganatantra Party (GPP). Established in 1991, the GPP aims to create a separate state of Gondwana in Central India to support the cause if the Gondli people. It presently has a single seat in the state assembly. The regional outfit has decided to join hands with the the JD(U). Several rebels from the BJP and the Congress have also joined it. It is likely that the GPP may get up to 5 seats this time around. The Left Front will field candidates from 33 constituencies in the state.

For more on the Madhya Pradesh Elections 2013, click here (Link)