Bhopal: Campaigning for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls is likely to pick up from next week. Nominations will close on November 9 and the contours of the contest will become clear on November 14, the last date for withdrawal of candidacy.
While the smaller players the AAP, BSP and SP have already announced their candidates, the two key ones the BJP and the Congress are yet to do so. The BJP has announced its candidates for 194 out of 230 constituencies. However, it withdrew the announcement for the Ghatiya seat after senior Congress leader Premchand ‘Guddi’ jumped onto its bandwagon. On November 5, its nominee for the Rajpur constituency, Devisingh Patel, died following a cardiac arrest. Thus, the BJP is to declare its nominees for 38 seats. The Congress has declared 184 candidates and is yet to decide on its nominees for 46 constituencies.
The top leaders of both the parties will begin campaigning in the state from November 15. The campaigning will end on November 26, 48 hours before polling on November 28.
The BJP is fighting to retain its 15-year-old government in the state, while the Congress is desperate to oust it from power.
BJP banking on Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark upon an intensive tour of the state from November 16. He will be addressing 11 mega-public meetings in the state, each covering 20 Assembly constituencies. Different poll surveys have showed that the ruling party is not very comfortably placed in the state, but the BJP leaders are hopeful that, once Modi jumps into the campaign, the atmosphere will change. They are hoping that the Prime Minister will unleash a ‘Modi wave’ which will catapult the party to power for the fourth time.
Rahul to address 25 public meetings
- Congress president Rahul Gandhi has already completed one round of campaigning in the state. He has visited the Malwa-Nimar, Gwalior-Chambal and Vindhya Pradesh regions, besides Bhopal, where he conducted roadshows and addressed public meetings.
- He has also been on a temple-hopping spree and has visited half a dozen famous abodes of the Almighty, including the Mahakaleshwar Temple at Ujjain, Pitambara Peeth at Datia and Kamtanath Temple at Chitrakoot.
- Congressmen are more than enthused by the response that Rahul has evoked. The Congress chief’s public events in the Malwa-Nimar region were well-attended. The party leadership is confident that the crowds at his events will get converted into votes. Post-Diwali, Rahul will address 20 to 25 public meetings in the state, besides roadshows.
Mayawati to focus on UP border
- BSP supremo Mayawati will be addressing eight public meetings in different parts of the state. These meetings will held in the areas where the party hopes to retain or even gain a few seats.
- She will begin her tour on November 16 and will address eight public meetings up to November 26. She will address one public meeting each in Bhopal and Jaipur and three each in the Vineyard and Chambray regions. The party’s influence is confined to the Vineyard Pradesh (Rewa-Satna) and the Chambal (Gwalior) region of the state, bordering Uttar Pradesh, and, hence, she will be primarily focussing on these areas.
- AAP leader and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal will conduct roadshows at seven places in the state, including Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Ujjain, Chhattarpur, Rewa and Jabalpur.
(Story by Abhishek Dubey)