Congress takes a leaf from Karnataka to browbeat BJP in K’taka Asslly polls before 2024

By D N Singh

Taking a leaf from its own record in Karnataka the Congress has decided to battle the challenges in the nest leg of the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh.

And the trick was its way to diametrically opposite running a campaign contrary to the national cards played by the PM Modi.

Among the local issues that the Congress played up were the internal issues such as preparing a list of the BJP leaders’ in the state over cases of economic irregularities, misgovernance, and mismanagement by the incumbent BJP government – has been prepared.

Despite the two states being vastly different in several aspects, both shared a tumultuous regime shift in the recent past; and in both the states, the Congress government was toppled due to a defection of its MLAs to the BJP.

Political experts say that MP and Karnataka share lot of similarities with respect to the Congress’ approach to the Assembly elections in both the states.

In a deeper look

The politics of Madhya Pradesh has been debated extensively since the Congress won the 2018 Assembly elections and was toppled within a year and half. Nearly two dozen of its MLAs, including the likes of Jyotiraditya Scindia, switched sides, forcing the Congress out of power and paving the way for the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government to step in.

However, in the present, political experts and analysts say it is “a fight for pride” “for former Chief Minister Kamal Nath. On the other hand, for the BJP, MP is a state they can’t risk losing right before the general elections, which will take place merely five months after the Assembly elections” said Rajendra Sharma, the TOI state head in Bhopal.

Just as Karnataka witnessed BJP leaders and loyalists changing allegiances this time, in MP, too, BJP loyalists, long-standing party members, former MLAs, and even former MPs are switching sides.

One of the cases in point: Deepak Joshi, a three-time BJP MLA and son of former MP chief minister and Jan Sangh leader late Kailash Joshi joined the Congress earlier this month.

Notably that, Joshi commands a strong influence in the Malwa region, particularly in Dewas district. Having been elected three times as an MLA from the Bagli and Hatpipaliya Assembly constituencies in Dewas, Joshi’s political dominance in the region is very strong.

Besides Joshi, Deependra Laria, brother of BJP MLA Pradeep Laria from Sagar, and Deepak Saran, a close aide of agriculture minister Kamal Patel from Harda, among others, have also also joined the Congress.

Soueces in the Congress party said that the preparation to ‘expose’ the BJP’s actions is almost complete, and that within a month, the party would take it to the public.

“We have prepared a list of all the scams that have happened during the BJP’s rule, and with their nod, and we will be taking them to the public very soon.”

The source in the party say that before the MP Assembly elections, they will also initiate steps to reach the public through social media and door-to-door campaigns, providing “factual information” about these alleged scams, wrongdoings, and fraudulent activities, unearthed by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, Lokayukta’s actions, and other sources.

“It is important to note that the 2022 state CAG report exposed a major scam in the nutrition programme run by the department controlled by CM Chouhan. The programme aimed to provide ‘nutritious meals’ to approximately 49 lakh registered children and women” added Sharma.

The investigation revealed that the documents showed transportation of thousands of kilograms of meals, valued in crores, by trucks. However, upon further examination, it was discovered that the vehicle numbers of the trucks mentioned in the departmental papers were actually motorcycles, autos, cars, and tankers.

The same report also disclosed that ration worth crores was distributed in the names of children who allegedly did not even attend school.

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