Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Shivraj Singh Chouhan

BHOPAL: A survey commissioned by RSS and BJP to assess the situation in 27 assembly constituencies where by-polls are to be held indicates that ruling party may end up getting merely 10-12 seats. This has come as a major jolt to BJP, as the bye-poll outcome will decide the existence of its government in the state.

 Sources say that the slogan, Maharaja Gaddar Hai (Maharaja is a traitor), an obvious reference to Jyotiraditya Scindia deserting the Congress, and simmering anger among BJP leaders and workers in the poll-bound constituencies may cost dear to the ruling party.

BJP leaders privy to the outcome of the survey said Scindia has lost much of his sheen since switching over to BJP. This has put to rest party’s chances of victory in bye-polls, which is riding on shoulders of Scindia’s popularity in Gwalior-Chambal region. Sixteen of 27 seats are in Gwalior-Chambal region, which are considered a Scindia bastion. The BJP and Scindia were hopeful that they would annex all the 16 seats. But the party cannot hope to win more than six seats in the region, the survey shows.

The party is not in a comfortable position on seven seats in Malwa-Nimar region either. The BJP leaders and workers have no love lost for Scindia and his supporters in at least two of these constituencies. According to survey report, the voters are unhappy with Scindia-supporter MLAs who resigned from the assembly, thus precipitating the fall of Kamal Nath government. It has been suggested to party that in the constituencies where there is discontent against Scindia supporter ex-MLAs, the party should dump them and field old BJP loyalists in their place.

However, this won’t be easy as BJP has an implicit pact with Scindia and all his supporters who quit the House will be fielded by the party in the bye-polls.

The survey also indicates that while the BJP’s membership drive in the Gwalior-Chambal region may have led to a huge number of Scindia supporters joining the party, it will not dent the electoral prospects of Congress substantially as most of them hardly have a popular base. Their politics only revolves around Mahal.

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