The BJP and the Congress have again girded up their loins in the election ring within two years of the assembly polls.
Both the parties have worked out a lot even before the declaration of by-poll dates. Now, the leaders of both parties will be seen in the by-election-bound areas.
In the BJP, the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s prestige is at stake. Apart from him, the honour of Rajya Sabha MP, Jyotiraditya Scindia, is in the balance.
Twenty-two legislators joined the BJP along with Scindia. Out of 22 former law-makers, 18 belong to the group of Scindia, and it will be the latter’s responsibility to ensure their win in the by-elections.
On the other hand, the Congress is counting on former chief minister Kamal Nath for its victory.
Along with Nath, former chief minister Digvijaya Singh and several other ex-ministers have swung into action.
Nath has given away tickets to party candidates. If the party gets lesser number of seats than it got in the last assembly elections, it will have an impact on Nath.
Nath is the MPCC president as well as the leader of opposition in the House. Therefore, it is a one-man show in the Congress. Voters are angry with the leaders who have switched over to the BJP, but there are no signs of sympathy for the Congress which ruled the state for 15 months.
People are angry with the BJP candidates, but they have barely shown any interest in the Congress’s return to power. For this reason, the voters are keeping mum.
For the BJP, however, there is an advantage. It requires only nine seats to get majority in the House.
The Congress, however, has to win minimum 21 seats to return to power. So it may try to form government with the help of the BSP, the SP and the independents.
At this time, only one independent MLA, Kedar Dabar, is with the Congress. Six others are supporting the BJP government.
Gwalior-Chambal region holds key
The Gwalior-Chambal region holds the key to the by-elections, because 16 seats fall in this area.
If the BJP performs well, there will be no problems for the government. Jyotiraditya Scindia will play an important role in winning seats on behalf of the BJP in this region. According to Scindia, the Congress won the assembly elections in 2018 because of him. Now, he has to show his strength to the BJP by winning by-polls in this area.
Influence of BSP
The BSP will be an important player in the by-elections. The party has decided to field candidates in all 28 seats, because it has influence in the Gwalior-Chambal region. It can be a deciding factor in the seats reserved for SC candidates. Nine seats are reserved for these candidates. The party has declared the names of eight candidates and may win one or two seats in these elections.
Party changed, candidates same
There are many such candidates as have already contested against one another. Interesting is the fact that those who once contested elections from the Congress will now fight on the behalf of the BJP. Likewise, those who fought on BJP tickets will now face their rivals as Congress candidates. In Sumawali, Aidal Singh Kansana is pitted against Ajab Singh Kushwaha. Similarly, from Gwalior east Munnalal Goyal has been fielded against Satish Sikarwar, and in Surkhi, Parul Sahu is taking on Govind Rajput. In the same way, two party-hoppers, Mahendra Singh Sisodia and KL Agarwal, are facing each other in Bamhori.