Bhopal: Shivraj Singh Chouhan canvassing for civic polls along the lines of assembly elections

Bhopal: CM Shivraj Singh is campaigning for the urban civic body elections in the scheduled areas of the state along the lines of assembly and Lok Sabha elections. For the past eight days, he is in the thick of campaigning for the party candidates. He is holding road shows and staying for the night in the poll-bound areas. A control room has been established at the BJP office to keep a watch on the situation. Chouhan is being regularly updated on the feedback from these areas and on the basis of that; he is taking a decision on how much to spend in which area.

The party has also commissioned surveys by a private agency to gauge the public mood. Chouhan’s campaign strategy is being drawn on the basis of the reports of the surveys. For Chouhan, victory in these polls has become a prestige issue. After government facing brickbats over the farmers’ protests and the impending visit of BJP national president Amit Shah, Chouhan wants to win these polls come what way. The BJP presently controls 26 of the 41 civic bodies going to the polls and Chouhan wants to increase the party’s tally.

Of late, the Congress has also turned aggressive in the state. In the wake of the farmers’ protest, the party has got a potent issue for the assembly elections. Chouhan wants his party to sweep the polls so that the Congress loses steam and its leaders, their new-found confidence. Reports indicate that the position of BJP MLAs is weak in the areas where polling is due and as such, the party cannot take the risk of leaving the campaigning to the MLAs. The MLAs are bound to get advantage of the CM’s intensive tours.

Reacting to Chouhan going hyper over the polls, the leader of opposition Ajay Singh said that the BJP believes in somehow grabbing victory. The CM is trying to woo the public by making populist announcements. He also expressed the apprehension that the ruling party may try to rig the polls.

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