मध्य प्रदेश विधान सभा चुनाव २०१८ : कैसे कांग्रेस ने सुनहरा मौका खोया

Dainik Bhaskar 13 December 2018

MP assembly election 2018: a tale of missed opportunity

NK SINGH

कांग्रेस अगर २०१३ के मुकाबले अपनी सीटों में लगभग दोगुना इजाफा कर पाई है तो इसपर उसे इठलाने की जरूरत नहीं. भले उसे भाजपा से ५ सीटें ज्यादा हासिल हुई हों, पर वोटिंग परसेंटेज देखें तो कांग्रेस को भाजपा से कम वोट मिले हैं!

सही है, पांच साल पहले उसके और भाजपा के बीच आठ परसेंट वोटों का फासला था और उस बड़े अंतर को पाटने में वह कामयाब रही है. पर बहुमत से दो सीट पीछे रह जाना उसे हमेशा सालता रहेगा.

इस खंडित जनादेश के लिए कांग्रेस खुद जिम्मेदार है. वह अपने पत्ते अच्छी तरह खेलती तो नतीजे अलग हो सकते थे. Continue reading “मध्य प्रदेश विधान सभा चुनाव २०१८ : कैसे कांग्रेस ने सुनहरा मौका खोया”

विन्ध्य में गरीबी की कीचड में खिल रहा है कमल

Dainik Bhaskar 16 November 2018

Poor and Dalits are happy with Shivraj Govt

NK SINGH

शहडोल: ब्योहारी में किराना की छोटी दुकान चलाने वाले मनोज गुप्ता एससी-एसटी एक्ट के खिलाफ फट पड़ते हैं. दुकान पर आने वाले लोग भी उनकी हाँ में हाँ मिलाकर कहते हैं कि नोटबंदी और जीएसटी ने काम-धंधा चौपट कर दिया है. सड़कों की हालत ख़राब है. बिना लिए-दिए कोई काम नहीं होता. वे भविष्यवाणी करते हैं कि भाजपा सत्ता में वापस नहीं आएगी.

बाजारों में, सड़कों पर और मिडिल क्लास बस्तियों इसी तरह की आवाजें सुनने मिलती हैं, पर जैसे ही हम कच्ची बस्तियों और अतिक्रमण कर बनाये टपरों की तरफ रूख करते हैं, सीन बदल जाता है. गरीब, खासकर दलित गरीब, भाजपा से जुड़ाव महसूस करता है. Continue reading “विन्ध्य में गरीबी की कीचड में खिल रहा है कमल”

भाजपा का समृद्ध मध्य प्रदेश कैंपेन याद दिलाता है शाइनिंग इंडिया की

Dainik Bhaskar 26 October 2018

BJP faces huge anti-incumbency in MP assembly election

NK SINGH

इस सप्ताह मुख्यमंत्री शिवराज सिंह चौहान रीवा की जन आशीर्वाद यात्रा पर थे.

सिरमौर से सेमरिया के बीच सड़क खस्ताहाल थी. अमेरिका से बेहतर सड़क के गड्ढों को मिटटी से पाटा गया था. धूल के गुबार के बीच गिट्टियों पर उनका विकास रथ हिचकोले खाता रहा. खराब सड़क के कारण पीछे आ रही कई गाड़ियाँ भी आपस में टकराई.

इस जमीनी हकीकत के बीच मातबर मध्यप्रदेश का दावा मतदाताओं के गले कितना उतरेगा, कहना मुश्किल है.

भाजपा का समृद्ध मध्यप्रदेश कैंपेन कुछ विश्लेषकों को अटल सरकार के शाइनिंग इंडिया कैंपेन की याद दिला रहा है. Continue reading “भाजपा का समृद्ध मध्य प्रदेश कैंपेन याद दिलाता है शाइनिंग इंडिया की”

सवर्ण वोट मध्य प्रदेश विधान सभा चुनाव में गेम चेंज़र बन सकते हैं

Dainik Bhaskar 9 October 2018

Upper caste votes may prove game changer in Madhya Pradesh

NK SINGH

विधान सभा चुनाव की विधिवत घोषणा भले ही ६ अक्टूबर को हुई हो, पर मध्यप्रदेश में इसकी बिसात जुलाई में ही बिछ चुकी थी, जब मुख्यमंत्री शिवराज सिंह चौहान ने अपनी जन आशीर्वाद यात्रा शुरु की.

उस दिन से ही भाजपा और कांग्रेस अखाड़े में ताल ठोंक रहे हैं. इन 12 हफ़्तों में प्रदेश की राजनीति ने दो दिलचस्प करवटें ली हैं.

छह अक्टूबर को जिस दिन भाजपा अध्यक्ष अमित शाह और कांग्रेस अध्यक्ष राहुल गाँधी दोनों मध्यप्रदेश के चुनावी दौरे कर रहे थे, दूर लखनऊ में सपा अध्यक्ष अखिलेश यादव कांग्रेस से नाता तोड़ने की घोषणा कर रहे थे: “कब तक इंतजार करें, एमपी में हम चौथे नंबर की पार्टी हैं.”

एक सप्ताह पहले ही बसपा सुप्रीमो मायावती कांग्रेस को बाय-बाय कर चुकी थीं. पिछले चुनाव के आंकड़े बताते हैं कि बसपा के साथ आने से कांग्रेस को लगभग ४५ सीटों पर फायदा मिल सकता था.

समझा जाता था कि भाजपा को हराने के लिए कांग्रेस दूसरी पार्टियों को साथ लेकर इलेक्शन लड़ेगी ताकि सरकार-विरोधी वोटों का बंटवारा न हो.

राजनीति में दो और दो हमेशा चार नहीं होते, चालीस भी हो सकते हैं. परसेप्शन का अपना महत्व होता है. वह हवा बनाने का काम करता है. Continue reading “सवर्ण वोट मध्य प्रदेश विधान सभा चुनाव में गेम चेंज़र बन सकते हैं”

मध्य प्रदेश विधान सभा चुनाव 2018, ब्रांड शिवराज की कसौटी

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, pic courtesy MP BJP

2018 MP Assembly election a test for Brand Shivraj

NK SINGH

२००३ के विधान सभा चुनाव प्रचार की आखिरी शाम. कार ओरछा के रास्ते गड्ढों में हिचकोले ले रही थी. रात के अँधेरे को चीरती हेडलाइट की रोशनी सड़क के किनारे पड़े गिट्टी के ढेरों पर पड़ी. दिग्विजय सिंह उस तरफ इशारा करते हुए बोले, “चुनाव के बाद सड़क का काम शुरू हो जायेगा.”

सड़क की मरम्मत तो हुई. पर तबतक दिग्विजय सिंह मुख्य मंत्री नहीं थे. उनकी जगह उमा भारती आ गयी थीं.

लालू यादव से प्रभावित दिग्विजय सिंह का खयाल था कि डेवलपमेंट से वोट नहीं मिलते. पर उनकी सोशल इंजीनियरिंग धरी की धरी रह गयी. दलित एजेंडा का पांसा उल्टा पड़ गया. गांवों में सवर्ण और ओबीसी लामबंद हो गए.

पर उस चुनाव में कांग्रेस की करारी हार के पहले दिग्विजय सिंह ने एक और काम किया था —- मध्य प्रदेश को दो हिस्सों में बाँटने का. आनन-फानन में असेंबली से प्रस्ताव पास करा कर सन २००० में छत्तीसगढ़ बना.

नए राज्य ने न केवल मध्य प्रदेश का राजनीतिक भूगोल बदल दिया बल्कि उसके राजनीतिक इतिहास को भी प्रभावित किया.

पहले प्रदेश में कांग्रेस और भारतीय जनता पार्टी के बीच वोटों का अंतर आम तौर पर एक से तीन प्रतिशत के बीच हुआ करता था. पर छत्तीसगढ़ बनने के बाद वह बढ़कर ८ % से भी ज्यादा हो गया.

२००३ की हार के बाद कांग्रेस लगातार कमजोर होती चली गयी और भाजपा मजबूत. कांग्रेस के वोटों में लगभग ६ % की गिरावट आई.

दूसरी तरफ, भाजपा के विधायकों जीतने का औसत मार्जिन बढ़कर दोगुने से ज्यादा हो गया. भाजपा का जनाधार बढ़ा ही, उसने नए इलाकों पर भी कब्ज़ा किया. अपने पारंपरिक गढ़ मालवा-निमाड़ और मध्य भारत के साथ-साथ वह महाकौशल और बुंदेलखंड में भी मजबूत होकर उभरी.

मध्य प्रदेश में राजनीति की धूरी कांग्रेस से खिसककर भाजपा के पास आ गयी है. पिछले कुछ चुनावों के आंकड़े देखें तो भाजपा को सत्ता से हटाना तभी मुमकिन है अगर उसके खिलाफ कोई कोई हवा चले. Continue reading “मध्य प्रदेश विधान सभा चुनाव 2018, ब्रांड शिवराज की कसौटी”

भोपाल, हिंदुत्व की नई प्रयोगशाला

Prajatantra, 8 May 2019

Bhopal, the new lab of Hindutva

NK SINGH

भोपाल चुनाव दो परस्पर विरोधी विचारधाराओं की लड़ाई बन गया है. एक तरफ भाजपा का हिन्दुत्व एजेंडा है. दूसरी तरफ गाँधीजी का सर्वधर्म समभाव है. एक तरफ राजनीति का संघ ब्रांड भगवाकरण है. दूसरी तरफ धर्मनिरपेक्षता, भाईचारा और गंगा-जमुनी तहजीब है.

 

राघोगढ़ किले में ब्राह्म मुहूर्त में ही भजन-कीर्तन शुरू हो जाते थे. “दिग्विजय सिंहजी की मां बड़ी धार्मिक प्रवृति की थीं,” कांग्रेस नेता अजय सिंह याद करते हैं, “वे तड़के उठकर पूजा-पाठ चालू कर देती थीं.” उनकी पत्नी दिग्विजय सिंह की रिश्तेदार हैं और उनके बचपन का एक हिस्सा राघोगढ़ में बीता था. उसीसे उन्होंने किले के ये किस्से सुने हैं. Continue reading “भोपाल, हिंदुत्व की नई प्रयोगशाला”

Bhopal, the new lab of Hindutva

Indian Express 7 May 2019

NK SINGH

The BJP has made Bhopal the epicentre of its Hindutva ideology by fielding terror-accused Pragya Singh Thakur as its candidate for Bhopal Lok Sabha seat.

A BJP bastion for the past 30 years, Bhopal has suddenly become the venue of one of the most interesting electoral and ideological battles in the country.

Thakur’s candidature took even many by surprise. The BJP has no dearth of tall leaders in Madhya Pradesh to challenge Digvijaya Singh, the Congress candidate from Bhopal who was the state’s chief minister for a decade. Continue reading “Bhopal, the new lab of Hindutva”

Why Congress lost badly in Vindhya

DB Post 22 Dec 18

NK SINGH

The figures are worrisome for both the BJP and the Congress.

A detailed analysis of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly election results reveals that, if the Congress had cobbled a pre-poll seat-sharing alliance with the other Opposition parties, it would have been in a position to bag at least 155 seats out of 230.

The anti-BJP alliance would have walked away with a clear two-thirds majority. And the BJP’s tally would have shrunk to a measly 75.

It is true that the Congress improved its performance by increasing its vote share by four per cent, winning 114 Vidhan Sabha constituencies. But it is also true that it fell two seats short of absolute majority.

The Congress’s gain was the BJP’s loss. Anti-incumbency against the 15-year-old BJP government led to the ruling party losing four per cent of the vote share. It could win only 109 seats.

The Congress made impressive gains in all geographic sub-regions of the state, including the BJP citadel of Malwa-Nimar. But it suffered badly in the Vindhya region, where its seats shrank from 12 to 6.

This was the only region where the BJP gained this time. Its tally improved from 16 to 24 in Vindhya.

Even the Leader of the Opposition, Ajay Singh, lost in what was thought to be his family borough of Churhat; and so did his cousin, Deputy Speaker Rajendra Singh.

Most analysts rightly blame the Congress’s poor performance in Vindhya for missing the magic figure of 116. Why did that happen? More importantly, how could the BJP improve its tally in this particular region?

An analysis of the constituencywise results reveals that the Congress lost as many as 17 seats in Vindhya due to anti-BJP votes getting split between Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Gondwana party and Samajwadi Party (SP). Had these parties been able to reach a pre-poll understanding, they would have bagged at least 23 out of 30 seats, causing a near-rout of the BJP in that region.

It was not only in the Vindhya region that the BSP, SP and Gondwana party candidates damaged the Congress’s prospects. A similar trend was observed in several other parts of the state, particularly in the areas bordering Uttar Pradesh the bastion of the BSP and SP.

The Congress lost altogether 34 seats in Madhya Pradesh due to a split of the anti-BJP votes. For instance, Congress candidate from Ater Hemant Katare lost to the BJP’s Arvind Bhadoriya, who was defeated twice from that constituency in the past, only because the BSP cut into the anti-BJP votes.

The BSP, SP and Gondwana party got only 3 seats in the state. But, together, they polled more than eight per cent combined votes. That is what stopped the Congress from reaching the midway mark.

The 2018 MP Assembly election results show that, for the past 15 years, it has become a ‘BJP versus the rest’ scenario. With the anti-BJP votes getting split, it worked to the ruling party’s advantage, just as, earlier, the Congress benefited from the TINA factor.

The Congress made spectacular gains in the tribal areas the main reason behind its victory. It managed to stage a comeback in the tribal areas, which had always been its bastion.

On the other hand, the BJP suffered due to the alienation of its upper caste support base over the SC/ST Act issue. It was reflected in the 1.42 per cent votes being cast in favour of NOTA. Political analysts say the BJP lost at least 11 seats due to NOTA.

The fragmented mandate has a direct bearing on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. If the present trend continues, the BJP will lose only 11 of the 29 Lok Sabha seats to the Congress.

In 2014, riding on the Modi wave, it had bagged 27 constituencies in MP.

But that scenario will change radically if the Congress enters into a seat-sharing alliance with the other Opposition parties.
There are already indications of informal parleys taking place among the non-BJP parties. That is what helped the Congress form a government in MP this time, with unconditional support extended by the BSP and the SP.

At the same time, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav have indicated their displeasure with the Congress by keeping away from Kamal Nath’s swearing-in ceremony. But that is seen more as a prelude to hard bargaining over seat sharing in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere.

But, in case a non-BJP alliance does not take place, the Congress will suffer again. Let us keep in mind that, in the Assembly elections, the BJP may have bagged fewer seats, but its vote share was slightly more compared to that of the Congress.

That is a danger signal for the Congress!

DB Post 22 December 2018

 

We get the Neta we deserve

 

DB Post 1 December 2018

NK SINGH

Yogendra Nirmal, the sitting BJP MLA from Waraseoni, is known for his simplicity and honesty. His austere lifestyle inspires both awe and amusement. Dressed in knickers and vest, every morning he can be seen sweeping not only his house but also the street in front of it.

He did not pick up the broomstick because of the Modi Government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. He has been wielding it long before he became a member of the MP Assembly, long before he became the chairman of the local municipal committee.

Most of the voters in the constituency have their favourite Wodehousian tale to share about their MLA’s unimpressive appearance. “Once, I went to Bhopal to meet him,” recalls Balaghat journalist Atul, “he opened the doors in his chaddi and then went to the kitchen to make tea for me.”

His dress sense, rather lack of it, has become part of the political folklore in the area. He is oblivious to his crumpled shirt, unshaved face with several days of growth and the habit of wearing his trousers without belt. “And he would climb the stage in that kind of dress even to address a rally with the CM,” says Devesh. Continue reading “We get the Neta we deserve”

Why is MP BJP acting over-confident?

DB Post 10 Nov 18

NK SINGH

Sartaj Singh, recently of the BJP, is a five time member of Lok Sabha and a two time MLA. He once defeated Arjun Singh, one of the tallest Congress leaders of his time. The 78-year-old Sikh leader was a minister in union government and then a member of the Shivraj cabinet until three years ago when he was dropped on age ground.

Sartaj Singh is popular nurses his constituency well. One of the apocryphal stories about him is that on entering Itarsi, his home town, he sends his vehicle home with the driver and walks down the streets.

It normally takes him 4 to 5 hours to reach home, situated just a km away. He would stop to chat to passer-bys, have a cup of tea at a stall, visit a friend’s home, enter the odd shop to enquire about business, exchange pleasantries with people and sign on petitions of any citizen who cares to buttonhole him on the road.

He has never lost an election. Yet the BJP refused him ticket, making him weep publicly like a child, prompting him to cross over to the Congress. The Hoshangabad seat, from where the Congress has fielded him, became doubtful for the BJP and so is now his old constituency of Seoni Malwa.

If winnability is the criteria for ticket, then the BJP seems to have failed the test. Take for example Indore, where no one doubts the influence of BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. The Indore strongman is a known opponent of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Three years ago he was made to quit the state cabinet and sent off packing to New Delhi. In 2013 assembly election too he was deprived of a ticket from Indore because he had insisted on the candidature of his confidant Ramesh Mendola. Vijayvargiya was asked to contest from neighbouring Mhow, a totally unchartered territory for him. To his credit, he managed to win against all odds.

This time, he has been refused a ticket because he insisted on a ticket for his son, Akash. His opponents saw to it that he sacrifices his own ticket to get one for his son. The BJP has fielded a reluctant Usha Thakur from Mhow, making the outcome doubtful. Thakur’s constituency was handed over to Akash Vijayvargiya.

Ramesh Mendola, a lieutenant of Kailash Vijayvargiya, offered to vacate his seat for Akash. But the BJP leadership asked him to stay put, in an apparent move to sow seeds of discord between the guru and the disciple. Someone in BJP was playing politics, without bothering about the fate of Mhow seat.

If you think that Sartaj Singh was denied ticket on age criteria or Kailash Vijayvargiya was kept out because of kin issue, think twice. The BJP has given at least 44 tickets to close relatives of its leaders. It has similarly fielded several leaders who are in the same age bracket as Sartaj Singh is.

The way ticket has been distributed does not augur well for the BJP. Despite a strong and visible anti-incumbency it has repeated more than two-third of its seating MLAs, including some whose victory is doubtful. It has also fielded 16 such candidates who had lost 2013 elections even at the height of pro-Modi wave in 2013.

The only conclusion one can draw from the BJP’s list of candidates is that the party with a difference is now afflicted with the same disease that had always plagued the Congress, viz factionalism.

The only person who could emerge victorious in this tug of war was former Chief Minister Babulal Gaur, a ten-time MLA, whose margin of victory has been increasing with each successive election. In his case the high command intervened to ensure a ticket for his daughter-in-law because it learnt that if he revolts, the BJP would definitely lose not only his seat, but also a few others surrounding it.

An analysis of the Congress line-up shows that it has played its card well, keeping in mind winnability criteria, by and large. Only two candidates were ‘para-dropped’ Sartaj Singh and Sanjay Sharma. The party was convinced that they have a winning chance.

Sanjay Masani, Chouhan’s brother-in-law, is the only exception. It has also given more ticket to women candidates as compared to the ruling party. It has also fielded more young faces, including candidates from its students’ wing and youth wing.

The selection of candidates is normally considered the first round of election. The BJP will now have to step up its effort to quell the revolt from within its rank if it wants ‘abki baar, 200 paar’. 

DB POST 10 November 2018