May 20, 2019: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has written to the Madhya Pradesh governor demanding a special assembly session on the grounds that the Congress government no longer has the numbers to pull through.
Buoyed by the results of exit polls, which have predicted a landslide win for the BJP in the state, Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargav has written a letter to governor Anandiben Patel. “We are sending a letter to the Governor requesting an assembly session as there are a lot of issues... It (the Madhya Pradesh government) will fall on its own. I don’t believe in horse-trading but I feel its time has come and it will have to go soon,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
He said the Congress, instead of debating issues in the House, was dumping papers at former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s residence, claiming that loans of 21 lakh farmers in Madhya Pradesh have been waived. The Congress was skirting debate on important issues, he said.
Bhargav added that several Congress leaders were upset with their own party and were ready to jump ship, thus reducing the numbers of the government.
Sunday’s exit poll results have predicted a thumping victory for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, where the Congress had snatched power from the saffron party’s hands after the assembly polls last year. The party has a wafer-thin majority in the House and is supported by Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party.
The News18-IPSOS Exit Poll has predicted 24-27 seats for the BJP and two-four for the Congress. The Aaj Tak Axis poll showed the BJP sweeping Madhya Pradesh with 26-28 of the total 29 seats, while the Congress is predicted to get between one-three seats.
The Chanakya-News24 has predicted the saffron party getting 27 seats and Congress bagging only two. A poll of several exit polls published by the NDTV shows the BJP getting 25 seats and Congress four constituencies.
If true, this would be a repeat performance by the BJP which bagged all but two seats — Guna and Chhindwara — in the 2014 general polls. These polls suggest that ‘Brand Modi’, which was under question during the assembly polls, featured quite strongly during the Lok Sabha polls.
It would also suggest that the Congress, coming on the back of a strong performance in the assembly polls when it went on to form the government, may have failed in many areas. Infighting and flawed ticket distribution could be some of them.
The grand old party’s drubbing, were the exit polls to hold their own on May 23, would also mean that it was not able to capitalise on its apparent goodwill in several constituencies — rural areas with deep agrarian distress, Dalits, Adivasis, and women voters — where the Congress had tended to show a strong performance.
The BJP maintained all along that the Assembly results would not cast a shadow on the Lok Sabha polls.