After obtaining a massive mandate for the Lok Sabha will Prime Minister Narendra Modi try to destabilise Congress ministry in Madhya Pradesh? Even if Modi has no desire to do so he will be pressurised by the Madhya Pradesh BJP leaders who seem to be in a hurry to recapture power which they lost in November 2018.
The Congress ministry headed by Kamal Nath is two short of a majority in the state assembly. The Congress strength is 114 in the house of 230. The ministry enjoys the support of BSP, SP and independent members.
The mandate received by the BJP is so big that it is tempted to ask Kamal Nath to seek a vote of confidence by summoning a special session of the Vidhan Sabha. Gopal Bhargava, Leader of Opposition has already requested the state Governor Anandi Ben Patel to initiate the process of summoning a special session of the Assembly.
Though the Governor has indicated that there is hardly any need to hold the special session, she is of the view that the issues which Bhargava wants to discuss in the special session can be discussed in the budget session which is scheduled in the month of July.
But the Governor took this position before the results of the Lok Sabha polls were declared. The situation has changed now and the BJP may make renewed attempt to seek special session which may be used for the floor test as the BJP is confident that in the changed situation the BJP will be able to overthrow the Kamal Nath Government.
It is a big question mark whether Modi will follow the precedents of dismissing elected state Ministers after the Lok Sabha mandate. At least in Madhya Pradesh, this had happened twice. The first time it happened in 1977 when the Janata Party got the massive mandate and captured an overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha. After that Prime Minister Morarji Desai imposed president’s rule in Madhya Pradesh.
It again happened in 1980 when Indira Gandhi came out with flying colors in the Lok Sabha elections. After the elections, she dismissed the Janata Party Government headed by Sunderlal Patwa. After the Presidents rule in 1977 Janata Party came to power and in 1980 the Congress came to power and Arjun Singh became the Chief Minister. Whether Narendra Modi will repeat the history will become clear after the new Ministry under Narendra Modi assumes power.
Meanwhile what caused humiliating defeat to Congress is being discussed in media and political circles. It is felt that a significant political change has happened in the state in a short time of five months, the Congress which had won 114 seats in the Assembly polls and formed the government managed to win only one seat in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP had won 109 seats in assembly polls and it has once again maintained its dominance by winning 28 seats.
Senior Congress leaders like Digvijaya Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ajay Singh, Arun Yadav, and Kantilal Bhuria lost the election. The magic of Modi and resentment of people against the current government in the state are said to be reasons behind the BJP getting such a huge lead.
The relentless hard work of former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also helped massive win. After the assembly polls, an impression was created that people were dissatisfied with the MLAs but they want Chouhan as their Chief Minister. Chouhan campaigned in 12 states including Madhya Pradesh. He addressed 212 election meetings including more than 150 meetings in various parliamentary constituencies in MP. He conducted 5 public meetings on an average in each parliamentary constituency.
It is generally realised that the most shocking result has come from Guna where Jyotiraditya Scindia lost to an insignificant former Congress worker, Dr KP Yadav, who fought on BJP ticket. It is the first defeat for Scindia. Party has lost the seat to BJP for the first time since 1991.
He lost the election by a margin of around 1.2 lakh votes. Though the party had assigned him the responsibility of west UP he stayed back in Guna and campaigned extensively. Not only this, but he had also skipped AICC national president’s public meetings held in the state.
Many top leaders of other political parties in his constituency had joined the Congress like BSP candidate Lokenda Singh and former BJP minister KL Agarwal. However, all these maneuvers failed to bring victory. His wife Priyadarshini Raje Scindia acted as his campaign manager.
In fact, she had begun campaign long before the ticket was announced. However, all her hard work failed to transform into votes. His opponent Dr KP Yadav was his MP Representative till 2017. He left the party after Scinida failed to get a ticket for him in by-election. In fact, he was the front runner for Congress ticket from Mungawali assembly constituency but was denied. Disenchanted, he joined the BJP.
L S Herdenia is a freelance journalist. Views are personal.