Issues like corruption, unemployment, price spiral and social disparity have taken a back seat in Madhya Pradesh with charges and counter charges by both key rivals the Congress and the BJP hogging all news space in the media. While the Congress has spent much of its energy in calling BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi a supercilious pretender for power the BJP is preoccupied with anti-Congress rhetoric.In its campaign the Congress failed to exploit the growing crime and corruption through the BJPs decade-long rule in the state.
Madhya Pradesh will witness 11 new faces, four sitting MPs and two former MPs among 142 candidates in fray for the ten seats that go to polls during Thursdays second phase. The focus would, however, be on the five seats of the Gwalior- Chambal region which the BJP is targeting to counter the influence of union power minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Thursdays first phase of Lok Sabha poll in Madhya Pradesh in nine parliamentary constituencies, covering 17 districts reflected an election fatigue among voters. For all the media cacophony the average polling percentage remained below 60.
As Chhindwara andeight other constituencies Satna, Rewa, Sidhi, Shahdol (ST), Jabalpur, Mandla (ST), Balaghat and Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh are witnessing polling on Thursday in the first of three phases, the curiosity is over on why Modi did not campaign in Chhindwara which has rejected the BJP on all but one occasion in 34 years.
A fresh controversy has hit the prestigious multi-arts complex Bharat Bhawan on its 32ndanniversary. Almost 24 years after he was sent packing from the culture department, one of its founders and former culture secretary, Ashok Vajpeyi, chose to blame former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Sunderlal Patwa for "destroying the rich tradition of Bhopal's cultural institution."