There is still a year to go before the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, but both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress have intensified their preparations. The discourse of their leaders and their activities are posing a big challenge for both the parties. The stand of the leaders is strict, but the challenges coming their way don’t seem to end.
Both the BJP and the Congress are trying to feel the political pulse of the state and preparing the reports of their elected and non-elected representatives while also focusing on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is emerging as a third force. The results of the 2018 assembly elections still loom over the parties following which they are careful not to make mistakes.
In the recently held urban body elections, it became evident that there are leaders within both the parties who can be disadvantageous if their political interests are not fulfilled. Even though the Congress achieved success in some places in the urban elections, both the parties are engaged in making strategies based on their previous experience and are facing problems while doing the same.
A big challenge for the BJP is Pritam Lodhi’s statement against the Brahmin society, following which he was expelled. Minister OPS Bhadoria’s ‘clever castes’ statement is also posing a challenge for the party. While the BJP is troubled by these statements, the Congress is dealing with its media department chairman, KK Mishra’s controversial statement about Brahmin society, and its MLAs Siddharth Kushwaha and Sunil Saraf accused of misbehaving with a woman in a train and a case being registered against them. Not only this, a new incident has come to light in Gwalior where two Congress leaders clashed with each other over the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.
BJP state president Vishnu Dutt Sharma and Congress state chief Kamal Nath have been keeping a close eye on their flock. The BJP expelled Pritam Lodhi from the party for misrepresentation, while five urban district presidents have been changed for not achieving the expected results in the civic elections. On the other hand, Nath is seen constantly guiding his party’s members.
This is a time to be careful for both the parties because a single statement or a political lapse can cause trouble for the party. If the Congress doesn’t actively take a stand against the factionalism in the party, its chances of losing cannot be ruled out, said political analyst Saji Thomas.