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Like the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Aam Aadmi Party does not have a lump sum voter of any caste. Aam Aadmi Party is engaged in increasing its strength in other states only on the basis of Arvind Kejriwal’s face and achievements of Delhi government.
Madhya Pradesh is one of the few Hindi speaking states where voters still do not have a better third option. Even after more than six decades, the politics of the state is centered between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. In all the elections held before 2003, the BJP or non-Congress parties kept coming to the government after every ten years and went back to the opposition within three years. Like Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party tried to establish their feet in Madhya Pradesh too.
But, even after four decades of long efforts, the BSP has already become weak and the SP is dragging its feet back. On the vacant place, now AAP of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is looking at its possibilities in Madhya Pradesh. Although in the last assembly elections, more than 200 candidates of AAP were left below NOTA in terms of votes. Apart from AAP, Asaduddin Owaisi, MP from Hyderabad and president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, is also fielding candidates in the urban body elections to find his land in Madhya Pradesh.
Limited polarization of votes on the basis of religion and caste
The specialty of the politics of Madhya Pradesh is that caste and religion are not visible much in elections here. The polarization of votes on the basis of religion is seen in only a few areas. Caste politics is definitely there in the areas reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Till a few years ago, the Congress used to get the votes of both these classes outright. The minority vote has also been considered a committed vote of the Congress. With the rise of the Bahujan Samaj Party, the SC vote started getting divided. In the 1990 assembly elections, the Bahujan Samaj Party got success in only two assembly seats. While he had fielded his candidates on 187 seats out of a total of 320 seats.
Madhya Pradesh was bifurcated in the year 2000, since then the state has a total of 230 assembly seats. BSP got the maximum number of 11 seats in 1993. Its number of candidates was 287. The BSP could never win more than eleven seats. Even the percentage of votes he got could not touch the double figure. In the last assembly elections, only two BSP candidates could win the election. A total of 227 candidates were in the fray. BSP has also lost its support base in Uttar Pradesh. Its indications were found only in the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections.
Samajwadi Party’s efforts were ineffective
The Samajwadi Party, like the BSP, could not emerge as a major force. In the 1998 assembly elections, the Samajwadi Party got success for the first time in a total of four seats. The SP’s cycle could not run beyond this. Most of the leaders who contested from SP and BSP won the elections who had rebelled against other parties. Apart from the SP, the Gondwana Gantantra Party tried to become an alternative to the Congress among the tribals of the Mahakoshal region. But, the party was never able to leave its impact beyond the cutting of Congress votes. In the last assembly elections, the BJP had to suffer due to the Gond tribal vote going in favor of the Congress. It is also well known that Gondwana or Bahujan Samaj Party has been used by BJP to cut the votes of Congress. BSP and Gondwana are now looking weak. Congress wants to take advantage of this by increasing its strength.
You want to show power in civic elections
Like the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Aam Aadmi Party does not have a lump sum voter of any caste. AAP is engaged in increasing its strength in other states only on the basis of Arvind Kejriwal’s face and achievements of Delhi government. In the last assembly elections, for the first time, about two hundred seats were contested by its candidates. Everyone’s bail was forfeited. The party could not get even one percent of the vote. The Aam Aadmi Party now wants to strengthen its hold through the elections of the urban body. But, his lack of effective facial is the big problem. Alok Agarwal was the face associated with the Narmada Bachao Andolan in the assembly elections. But, he could not establish his popularity even among the voters of Narmada belt. Right now the leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party are not seen standing with any public problem.
Owaisi’s role will remain in cutting off Muslim voters of Congress
Asaduddin Owaisi, MP from Hyderabad and president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, gets his strength from Muslim voters. Owaisi’s role in the rapid polarization of votes on the basis of religion is being seen in the country only till the Congress votes. Owaisi’s party is fielding its candidates only in Muslim dominated areas. She has announced to field candidates for the post of mayor in five of the sixteen municipal corporations. There are Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Burhanpur and Khandwa. Owaisi can never be an alternative to Congress in the state. To become the third option, the political party has to strengthen the field grip along with the face. Uma Bharti has tried to become the third strong option. But, could not succeed. His party too had done little to prevent anti-incumbency votes from going in favor of the Congress. In the 2008 assembly elections, Uma Bharti contested the elections by forming the Bharatiya Janshakti Party. (The author is a senior journalist, the views expressed in the article are the personal of the author.)
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