Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The Shivraj-led BJP government faced by-elections thrice after introduction of agriculture laws by Modi government but registered an impressive win, clearly demonstrating that there was no political impact of agriculture laws in the state.
The first litmus test was by-elections in 28 assembly constituencies after Jyotiraditya Scindia broke away, toppling the Kamal Nath led Congress government in March 2020.
The result of by-elections declared in November 2020 shocked Congress party as it was trounced. The Congress had relied heavily on discontent among farmers due to centre’s controversial agriculture laws. Out of total 28 assembly constituencies that went to bypolls, Congress won nine seats whereas BJP formed the government after winning 19 seats.
Most seats that went to by polls were from Gwalior, Chambal divisions. Moreover, farmers’ protest in state was mostly evident in this belt. Despite this, Congress could not save seats it had won earlier.
In second by-election held in Damoh assembly constituency in April 2021, Congress won the election but political analysts feel that BJP lost because of wrong choice of candidate. Jayant Malaiya, a dominant force in the region, remained inactive leading to BJP’s loss.
Third and latest by-elections in the state were held on one Lok Sabha and three Assembly seats in October 2021. BJP maintained its winning trend and managed to win Khandwa Lok Sabha and two Assembly seats out of three.
Political analyst says that Shivraj government has been procuring farmers’ produce besides providing them electricity on subsided rates. “Farmers also benefit from other state government schemes. This did not allow discontent among farmers to grow to a level that existed in other states,” analyst stated.
The only consolation for Congress was that its vote share increased in the last bypolls. Congress increased its vote share by as much as 18.1% compared to 2018 assembly polls in Raigaon seat. In Prithvipur and Jobat seats that it lost, its vote share went up by 7.7% and 9.27% respectively. In Khandwa too, vote share of Congress went up by 4.86% compared to 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
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