On Saturday, the election results of 19 urban bodies in Madhya Pradesh were announced in which the Congress party matched the tally of the BJP for the president’s post. Both the parties won nine seats, and an independent candidate won in Anuppur, which was under the Congress. However, it should be noted that the BJP retained four seats in the urban body polls whereas the Congress retained only one. Elections of the 19 local bodies were held on January 17. Out of the 356 posts of councillors, BJP has edged past Congress here. The Bharatiya Janata Party won 194 seats and the Congress has got hold of 145 seats.
Even with the BJP winning nine seats for the post of president, BJP leaders were not satisfied with the outcome. The party sees this as a setback for the ruling party in the state as the state will see assembly elections later this year. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chouhan accepted that the party could have done much better. They blamed rebels for hurting the chances of candidates on several seats. The Congress interpreted the result as a reconfirmation of the decline in BJP’s popularity.
“Had we been a little careful and managed to convince some rebels to withdraw from the fray, our victory would have been bigger,’’ said the CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The chief minister of the state campaigned extensively for the polls. The party chief Nandkumar Singh Chouhan said, “Our showing was alright. Rebels upset our calculations. Maybe we made some mistakes in the distribution of tickets. We will review it.’’
However, even with a good result in the polls, Congress party did not celebrate. The party’s decision comes in due to the death of former Assembly speaker Srinivas Tiwari in Delhi on Friday. In the home ground of the former CM Digvijaya Singh, Raghogarh, the Congress managed to do well. Congress MLA Jaivardhan Singh, “The results show that the voters are veering towards the Congress.’
Other than the post of president, Congress party managed to bag 20 of 24 posts of councillors in Raghogarh. This comes as a victory for Congress after the supporters of Congress and BJP had clashed in Raghogarh as a few days ago. Ajay Singh, the Congress leader, said party’s gains indicate voters are ready for the change.