After BJP’s down-fall in Karnataka elections, now with the nearing of assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh this year, the party has planned an extensive strategy for the poll-bound state. The state BJP IT cell along with Maharashtra BJP IT department is going all out with its campaigning over social media platforms with its manifestos in order to woo the youth vote-bank for Shivraj Singh Chouhan to accomplish its fourth consecutive electoral victory in MP.
Chouhan’s government in MP has faced criticism for its failures to fulfil the promises made during the campaigning before elections. According to the data, 2,46,612 jobs were generated in the state between 2004 and 2017. The Economic Survey presented during the session by the end of 2016 said the number of educated unemployed stood at 11.24 lakh. Farmers’ unrest is brewing in the state as they are set to take to the streets between June 1 and June 10 where MP will face a “gaon bandh” (closed villages) movement by peasants, who have decided to stop sending their produce out of their villages from June 1. The protest has been called by the Rashtriya Kisan Majdoor Mahasangh.
Madhya Pradesh Congress MP Vivek Tankha expressed, “There is one kind of depression in the minds of people against BJP in Madhya Pradesh as the government has completely failed in generating employment, solving the problems of farmers, addressing the problems related to education and women empowerment. In many front BJP government has failed; hence, new promises and social media campaigning will not help them.”
On the other hand, the government has also been unable to control the increasing number of crimes against women in the state. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there is a 9.49 per cent increase in rape cases and 37.08 per cent rise in gang rape cases have been recorded in the state in 2017. While the courts announced verdicts in 2,199 cases of rape in 2017 in Madhya Pradesh, out of these, 1765 accused were acquitted. This means that more than 80 per cent of the accused were acquitted, which is much to the embarrassment of the BJP government.
Madhya Pradesh BSP President Bhatti said, “If Congress and BSP fight election together, then definitely BJP will lose. BJP government had made big promises but they failed to implement it. Also, there is farmers unrest in the state. The government has fared poorly in the agricultural, health, and education sector. The opposition should come together against the propaganda of BJP.”
Despite viable records of the unsuccessful tenure of BJP government in MP, their counterparts from other states don’t stop from supporting Shivraj’s government while boasting about the developmental work done by BJP in the state. The Shivraj Singh-led government in MP claims to have succeeded in various sectors such as farmland under irrigation increased by whopping 433 per cent from 7.5 lakh hec to 40 lakh hec, farm loan waiver increased by 704 per cent from Rs 1,273 cr to Rs 10,235 cr with zero per cent interest, agriculture growth rate at 19 per cent (highest in the world), Rs 5,200 crore distributed to farmers under Bhavantar Yojana, Krushak Protsahan Rashi and Fasal Bima Yojana etc.
Mumbai BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua stated, “The sheer amount of work done by Shivraj Singh government in last 15 years can be seen on the ground. For example, electricity production increased by 533 per cent from 2900 MW to 18364 MW, 24 hours of electricity in residential areas, 10 hours of farming, GDP increased by 526 per cent from Rs 1.12 L cr to Rs 7.07 L crore, total agriculture produce increased by 254 per cent from 2.14 cr tonne to 5.44 crore tonne , 7 cities under Smart City, 9 cities under Mini smart city projects, state budget increased by more than 750 per cent from Rs 21,000 crore to Rs 1.85 lakh crore, per capita income increased by 418 per cent and many more.”
Meanwhile, there are also words regarding the alliance in Madhya Pradesh by the unit head of Congress, Kamal Nath, who said the party was open to forging an alliance with “like-minded” parties for the upcoming assembly election in the state at the end of this year. Congress’ newly appointed chairman in the state, Digvijaya Singh, made it clear that he would not contest assembly polls and his sole aim was to lay the groundwork for the party’s victory in the election. There seems to be no unity among Congress leaders but they have command at the individual level in their respective areas.
Madhya Pradesh BJP IT cell in-charge Shivraj Singh Dabi claimed, “We do not support or create any kind of fake news on social media especially through BJP’s official account. If any party worker is indulging in this act by using personal account then it is his own views. Our work is to provide information about government initiative through our platform. The government is doing well on every front so accordingly we highlight the work done by it in the campaigns.”
Now, with a few months left for the assembly elections, the IT cell has again started with its manifesto on social media by proposing attractive developmental schemes for child labourers, women and housing schemes for poor by hitting the chord of the sensitive areas. Instead of focusing on the real issues faced by the state the government miserably failed to resolve despite remaining in power for more than a decade. The party is trying to target its vote-bank by indulging in jumlas to retain power.