Karnataka poll strategy may not work in Madhya Pradesh: Aslam Sher Khan

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Bhopal: The Congress strategy in Karnataka of not projecting any leader for the post of chief minister will not work in Madhya Pradesh due to the different social and political dynamics of the state, party leaders say.

“The situation in Karnataka is quite different from Madhya Pradesh as there the people as well as the former Chief Minister Yedyurappa wanted to get rid of the BJP and, therefore, people voted for Congress,” former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Aslam Sher Khan said.

“In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress has to fight at two levels. It has to counter a simple, humble and a soft-spoken Chief Minister like Shivraj Singh Chouhan who enjoys a clean image among the rural people on the one hand and a support of the RSS network on the other hand,” Aslam, a former Olympian, said.

“I am of the opinion that for countering the ‘Chouhan effect’, the Congress has only the face of Union Minister of State for Energy (Independent Charge) Jyotiraditya Scindia and the party should not hesitate in doing so as situation here is entirely different from Karnataka,” he said.

However, for countering the “RSS network”, he said without mincing any words, “The only person who knows BJP-RSS deep inside as well as outside is Congress General Secretary and former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, and he is capable enough to counter it at the grassroot level.” While Scindia has the potential to encash on the anti-incumbency prevailing against the BJP rule, specially against its ministers and MLAs, Congress must ensure that Digvijay works quietly in the background so that it has a network right upto the booth level to counter RSS-BJP, Aslam said.

Aslam also demanded that like Karnataka, the party should also give tickets after a thorough study of the profile of winnable candidates and also give due representation to minorities, dalits and tribals – who are the party’s core vote base.

Another senior Congress leader, on condition of anonymity, said that Karnataka’s experiment cannot be repeated in Madhya Pradesh as the two states have different social and political dynamics.

The people want to vote for the Congress but are not convinced and for that the state needs a face to counter Chouhan, he said.

“There is a strong anti-incumbency wave against the ruling BJP in the state but the Congress has no effective mechanism to encash it,” he said.

He said the central ministers and senior party leaders visiting the state are also of the opinion that there is a need to project someone effective to stop the BJP from scoring a hat-trick in MP.

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