166

It Is Premature To Write MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan Off In Madhya Pradesh

New Delhi: The close contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress in Madhya Pradesh indicates that it is premature to write Shivraj Singh Chouhan off. He may be down but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Madhya Pradesh is still a remarkable political figure of India’s second largest state.

The low-profile Chouhan was picked to lead the BJP after a period of political instability in the state. In 2003, Uma Bharti had led the party to victory in the state but was soon replaced with Babulal Gaur in less than a year. Gaur lasted just over a year before Chouhan took over. He had been a parliamentarian but was a low profile leader. It was a case of the organisation anointing an appropriate leader.

Soon, as Chouhan settled down, the leader in him emerged.

154

Arun Jaitley Says Assembly Election Results Unlikely To Have A Bearing On 2019 Lok Sabha Polls

New Delhi: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said Assembly election results declared were unlikely to have a bearing on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Lok Sabha elections will be fought on the performance of the central government.

Jaitley said the results were certainly not as expected, adding that it was time for the BJP to “pause and introspect”.

He, however, rejected claims that the Congress won on account of its party chief Rahul Gandhi’s dynamic leadership.

“The issues in state elections are entirely different. We won all these three states (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh) in December 2003 and we lost the general elections in 2004. So, there is no automatic transfer,” he said.

153

CLP Likely To Authorise Party President Rahul Gandhi To Take A Call On Rajasthan CM

New Delhi: Rajasthan Congress has convened a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) on December 12 in which a one-line resolution is expected to be passed. The resolution will authorise the party president Rahul Gandhi to take a call on who the next chief minister of the state will be from the party.

As per trends and results, the Congress has crossed the majority mark of 100 seats in the 200-member state assembly with the BJP trailing at about 70 seats. The Congress, though much ahead of its rivals, is confident of its victory and is looking at the support of the rebel candidates. The BJP has accepted its loss but has maintained that it was a good performance considering that the people of Rajasthan have changed the party in power in every election in the last 25 years.

152

Congress Not The Sole Gainer In The Dip Of Vote Bank In The BJP In Three States

New Delhi: With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffering defeat in three important states, the vote share of the has taken a sharp dip in Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh since the last assembly elections in 2013, but all these votes do not seem to have gone to the Congress alone as other players have also reaped the gains.

The vote share loss is even bigger for the saffron party since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, in which it had virtually swept all the three states by winning 62 out of 65 seats, as per the Election Commission data.

In Telanagana and Mizoram, it is the regional parties who have come out with flying colours, a post-2014 trend clearly visible in many states with sizeable presence of non-BJP and non-Congress parties.

140

Mayawati And Akhilesh Skip Meeting Called To Discuss Formation Of An Anti-BJP Alliance

New Delhi: Even before the unity cracks appear in Mahagathbandhan, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav and party chief Akhilesh Yadav skipped a meeting called to discuss formation of an anti-BJP grand alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

While the SP cited no reason for Akhilesh or Mulayam’s no-show, senior BSP leader Ambeth Rajan indicated that Mayawati skipping the meeting had much to do with her party’s stated policy of maintaining an equal distance from the Congress and the BJP.

He said the NDA and the UPA were two sides of the same coin for his party. “The BSP chief has made it clear that she will maintain equal distance from the Congress as well as the BJP since both the parties are hardly concerned about the welfare of the suppressed community. For the BSP, it was not an opposition parties’ meeting, but a gathering of a few enthusiastic leaders eager to form a joint front,” he said.