Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): In the run-up to the Madhya Pradesh assembly polls on November 17, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appears to have stolen a march on the Congress in declaring candidates and electioneering.
The saffron party has declared candidates for 136 out of the total 230 assembly seats in the state in four separate lists, while the Congress is yet to come out with even its first list of nominees.
The Election Commission on Monday announced assembly poll dates for Madhya Pradesh and four other states.
Madhya Pradesh will have a single phase polling
Madhya Pradesh will have a single phase polling on November 17 with counting of votes set for December 3 along with other states.
The BJP created history of sorts when it announced its first list of 39 candidates on August 17, nearly two months before the election schedule was announced.
In the last seven months, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP's top poll campaigner, has visited MP nine times mostly to address public meetings and functions.
BJP's chief poll strategist and Union Home Minister Amit Shah has visited the state five times in seven months.
In contrast, Congress general secretary and star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has visited MP and addressed election meeting three times since June 12, when she kicked off her party's campaign from Jabalpur.
Her brother and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, another star campaigner of the opposition party, has addressed just one election rally so far.
BJP's 'Jan Ashirwad Yatras' covered 223 assembly seats
The BJP also took a lead in reaching out to the people of Madhya Pradesh. Its 'Jan Ashirwad Yatras', which covered 223 assembly seats, started on September 3 and ended with PM Modi's address on September 25 in state capital Bhopal.
Congress's 'Jan Aakrosh Yatras' traversed through all the 230 seats
The Congress's 'Jan Aakrosh Yatras', which traversed through all the 230 seats, started on September 19 and culminated on October 5 with a rally in Dhar district addressed by Priyanka Gandhi.