They might have lost the state election, but they are not prepared to lose time. The Madhya Pradesh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has started preparing for the Lok Sabha elections. The unit has set up what it calls the ‘NaMo network’ to recruit young workers for the party. They will be contacted via missed calls and WhatsApp messages and will be expected to work as volunteers during the 2019 elections.
The party is also planning to start a new campaign to woo first-time voters in the state. The campaign has been propitiously branded Pehla vote Modi ko (my first vote for Modi).
AAP in arms
It seems all’s not well at the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP’s) Madhya Pradesh unit. First, its performance in the recent Assembly polls was an embarrassment. It had fielded candidates for 208 of the 230 seats and all but one, including the party’s state chief ministerial candidate
Alok Agarwal, forfeited their deposits. Agarwal, who contested from the Bhopal Dakshin Paschim seat, secured only 1,654 votes. Local party workers blame former Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Agarwal
for the loss of face. They are also unhappy that he is hanging on to his post despite pressure from fellow party workers to quit. AAP’s state media in-charge, Sachin Shrivastava, resigned on Monday, citing impasse in the party.
To encourage his party colleagues to buckle up, former chief minister (CM) of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan said a few days ago: “Chinta mat karna, tiger abhi zinda hai” (don't worry, the tiger is alive). That seems to have given the much-needed fodder to parties opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party. Taking a dig at him, Congress leader and another former CM of the state Digvijaya Singh told the media recently, “Tiger is one of the endangered species. It has lost its teeth and claws. We will work for the conservation of this animal.” The acting president of the state unit of the Congress, Jitu Patwari, also couldn’t resist a jab. At an event in Indore, he said, “Shivraj Chouhan comes from a humble background. He is a good person. We want him to remain human.”