Leaders of the organization Muralidhar Rao, Shivprakash and Ajay Jamwal have failed to douse the flames
Bhopal: The crackling sounds of burning logs are emanating from the Madhya Pradesh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party before the assembly election, nearly five months from now.
The flames of internal squabbling are so strong that three leaders of the organization Muralidhar Rao, Shivprakash, and Ajay Jamwal have failed to douse them.
A meeting of the party’s core committee was held on Monday to discuss the issues about which the senior leaders of the party are worried.
At the meeting, Rao said that the infighting had sent out wrong signals to the party workers who looked disappointed after the outcome of the Karnataka election results.
The party seems to be divided into various factions. After Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia’s defection to the BJP with 22 supporters, which led to the ouster of the 15-month-old Congress government in the state, the factionalism in the party has increased.
There are at least three groups within the BJP: Scindia faction, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan group and state party president VD Sharma faction.
There is one more faction called the Naraz (angry) group comprising the party’s old hands who are feeling ignored.
One of the important leaders of the party, Deepak Joshi, son of former chief minister Kailash Joshi, joined the Congress. He has been associated with the BJP for more than 40 years.
Today’s faction-ridden BJP in MP looks like the divided Congress of yesterday.
This is the reason that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi told at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday that the party would win 150 seats in the 230-member House of Madhya Pradesh.
After Scindia’s defection to the BJP, the Congress seems to have overcome factionalism, and the party has decided to fight the ensuing election under the leadership of Madhya Congress Committee president Kamal Nath.
Even the internal survey of the BJP indicates that the party may not win more than 70 seats in the ensuing election.
Local leaders of the ruling dispensation feel that the BJP may have reaped the immediate fruits by engineering defection in the Congress, but the party is paying for it now as it did in Karnataka.
They say the party has no control over the legislators of the Scindia faction. They say that the legislators of this group are taking the lion’s share of everything besides, after the joining of Scindia, the top party leadership has clipped Chouhan’s wings. So, he, too, is feeling ignored, local leaders say.
BJP’s Member of Parliament from Guna, KP Yadav, who defeated Scindia in the last Lok Sabha elections, recently issued a statement against him. Although Rao told him to keep away from issuing any statement against Scindia, there seems to be no end to internal fighting in the party.
Nearly, 300 BJP workers and some leaders of the party have recently taken the membership of the Congress which seems to have gained confidence after its victory in Karnataka.
There seems to be a clear edge of the Congress over its arch rival BJP in the state, though for now.
The ruling party will contest the election in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, since the party is divided into various factions.
The ruling party has already announced some freebies, including Ladli Behna Yojna under which the government will give Rs 1,000 to each woman every month.
The Congress, too, has announced that if it comes to power, it will give Rs 1,500 a month to each woman besides the party will give an LPG cylinder for Rs 500.
The ruling party may also raise religious issues to polarise the voters. The Congress has to find a solution to it.