The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has faced a major setback in the party stronghold state of Madhya Pradesh. After Gujarat, BJP has got a tough fight from the Congress in the poll-bound state as it lost to the grand old party in four of the six municipalities that it held. The Congress win indicated a possible decline in the popularity of state chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, especially in the urban areas. According to The Times of India, ahead of the state Assembly polls this year, the Congress has proclaimed that the “so-called magic of CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan was demolished.” As per the results declared on Saturday, both the BJP and Congress won nine president posts each in 19 civic bodies. One seat was won by a rebel candidate.
Earlier in 2013, the BJP held 12 president posts while the Congress had seven. BJP, which had won all the six municipalities that time, has managed to only win Sendhwa and Pithampur. As per a PTI report, Congress has defeated BJP in Dhar, Barwani, Raghogarh and Manawar municipalities. Congress’ performance in Raghogarh, which is the bastion of senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh. led it to bag 20 out of 24 wards despite the fact that Chouhan had extensively campaigned in this region. Congress, after a gap of 45 years, managed to wrest Manawar municipality in Dhar district from the BJP.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan attributed his party’s disappointing performance to rebel candidates. In fact, these candidates marred the BJP’s chances in many places, Chouhan was quoted as saying by PTI at Mandsaur. Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh said the Congress has snatched seven local body seats from the ruling BJP. “These results have shown that people are disillusioned with the BJP government. The BJP failed despite misusing government’s money in fighting the elections,” he said.