Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The ruling BJP in its campaign for the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh kept Prime Minister Narendra Modi in front and a slogan-cum song "MP ke man mein Modi - Modi ke man mein MP" was also played across the state in an attempt to get support in the name of its most charismatic leader.
Being the BJP face for the election, PM Modi addressed as many as 15 rallies after the poll schedule was announced. He missed no opportunity to attack the Congress, especially its leader Rahul Gandhi, who has been his most vocal critic. In his last rally, a day before campaigning came to an end, Modi called Rahul "moorkhon ke sardar".
Modi, who has paid nearly a dozen visits and launched a number of projects in the past few months before the election date was announced in Madhya Pradesh, addressed rallies in different districts -- Ratlam, Seoni, Khandwa, Sidhi, Damoh, Muraina, Guna, Satna, Chhatarpur, Neemuch, Barwani, Indore, Betul, Shajapur and Jhabua.
During the campaign, he missed no opportunity to take credit for the development of Madhya Pradesh in the past two decades, and at the same time, he warned people that the state would become BIMARU again if the Congress regained power. The BJP strategically placed its most popular leader in the state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on the sidelines to counter the high anti-incumbency against his two-decade long rule.
However, Chouhan still remains on top and has addressed 165 rallies. He addressed five-to-six rallies in a day, starting early morning and continuing till late night. The main opposition Congress' entire campaign led by its state unit chief and former CM Kamal Nath focused on highlighting the failures of CM Chouhan and the scams that surfaced during the 18 years of BJP rule in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress' central leaders especially Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and party president Mallikarjun Kharge targeted PM Modi during the campaign and spoke more about national issues, including a 'caste census' and OBC reservation.
However, Kamal Nath was very much focused on local issues. Kamal Nath, who alone addressed over 100 rallies out of the total 350 held by the star campaigners of the grand old party, mentioned at every rally the work done during his 15-month regime and then he would ask a question - "What sin had I committed for which my government was toppled. I too could have purchased MLAs, but this kind of politics doesn't suit me." For the Congress, Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Sachin Pilot were among the popular leaders who held rallies. While the Congress chief was at nine rallies, the Gandhi siblings attended 11 poll meetings each.