Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh):
Blood thicker than water
It hardly matters which party is going to form the next government, but there are whispers in political circles about three Congress candidates, because they seem to believe in the maxim – blood is thicker than water. One of the candidates is contesting the election from a high-profile constituency in a district. About this candidate it is said that he was in cahoots with the BJP contestant, and gave up fighting just three days before votes were to be cast. Likewise the husband of a candidate played politics with her, and, because of this, she, too, had to quit the field even before the beginning of the match. When the candidate’s name was announced, her husband was highly enthusiastic about her victory, but suddenly, his husband remembered his relationship with the opposition candidate. The kinship between her husband and her rival came in her way. The same thing is said about the third candidate. There are undertones in political circles that the candidate’s love for his brother prevailed over his political ideology. These candidates had to clarify to the public whether they were in a fight or not. The outcome of these seats will tell what difference their relationship with their rivals has made in the election.
In grip of restlessness
The Election Commission is announcing the results on Sunday, but before that, restlessness has gripped a contestant so much that he has fallen ill in the period between the casting of votes and the counting of it. The politician fears lest he should fall ill thinking about his chances of a win. His supporters constantly visit him and tell him about the prospects of his victory, but those who are working on the ground feel that the politician may lose the election this time. Because of this restiveness, the politician regularly visits a physician and gets his blood pressure checked. Most of the times, he confines himself to a closed room and refuses to meet anyone. It has happened, because when the election dates were declared, he was so sure of his win that he dreamt of getting an important ministry, but after the election his hopes were dashed.
The state has never had so many CMs-in-waiting as it sees today before the announcement of election results. Although Kamal Nath is set to become the Chief Minister if the Congress forms a government, yet many leaders are craving for the top job in the coming days. A former minister is telling everyone that he will become the CM after one year. Nevertheless, there are many CMs-in-waiting in the Bharatiya Janata Party. All the three Union ministers, fighting the assembly election, are vying for the post. Similarly a Union minister who did not contest the election and a leader of the party organisation are also contending for the top job. Only the election outcome will decide who hits the bull’s-eye, and how many contenders for the post remain in-waiting.
Assembly election is over, but the politicians have yet to stop bragging about their success in the polls. These ministers recently made tall claims about their victory in the presence of the Chief Minister. There was only one minister who said he was up the creek in his constituency. When the Chief Minister wanted to know from the ministers about their prospects of a win, this particular minister said chances of his victory counted on the votes of rebels. If the rebels get more votes than he does, he may lose the election. Besides him, all other ministers made tall claims about their win. A minister, also present at the meeting, is in a tight spot in his constituency. The party organisation has received reports that the minister may lose the election, but he, too, said he would win by a margin of 20,000 votes. When the minister made such claims about his victory, his colleagues smiled. But for a few, most of the ministers looked uneasy about their victory, because they know the ground realities. Yet they never thought twice to make such false claims in the presence of CM.
Up the creek
The exit polls have sent politicians and bureaucrats in a tizzy. A leader of the Congress, who was sure of the party’s victory and of getting an important position in the ministry, is behaving like a high-strung race horse. Immediately after the exit polls were displayed on TV screens, the Congress leader called up the booth in-charges to know about the chances of his win. There are natters in political circles that the tone of booth in-charges also changed after exit polls. A booth in-charge clearly told the Congress leader that if the Ladli Behna Yojna had an impact, he might even lose the election. He was so worried after getting feedback from his supporters, that he called a meeting and sifted through booth-wise reports about the prospects of his win. The politician has spent a lot of money on the election, so if he suffers a defeat, he will not only lose his brass but also his cuff as a politician.
Does conscience prick them?
Fighting an election and winning it is not as slick as a whistle anymore – though it has never been so. Even after a hard-fought win, a political party faces many hurdles in forming a government, because it has to keep its winning legislators together. Else, they may take a flight to the opposition camp dashing all hopes of their party to form a government. This is exactly what is happening in Madhya Pradesh, where the outcome of the recently held election is going to be out on Sunday. As the administration is getting ready to declare the results, a political party preparing to form a government is busy putting its legislators together, so that they may not defect to the opposition camp.
A few leaders of the party have decided to get a letter of agreement signed by the legislators that they remain with the winning political outfit till the next election. Such an idea resulted from the experience that the party had in 2020. The concept, however, did not find favour with a top leader. Ergo, as soon as the plan was put up before him, he cast it aside, saying he had full faith in his legislators and left the decision to go to the other camp to the conscience of the MLAs, because if they want to quit the party, a piece of paper cannot stop them. But the voters say, “Does conscience prick the party-hoppers?”