Madhya Pradesh election: Flagship welfare schemes help BJP register victory
BJP wins Madhya Pradesh with guarantees from PM Modi and emotional appeal to women voters by CM.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) registered a thumping win in Madhya Pradesh, thanks primarily to the guarantees of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the emotional appeal to “sisters” (women voters) by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, experts said on Sunday.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan made at least 2,900 announcements after coming into power in 2020 after 22 MLAs of the Congress joined the BJP along with senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia.
After coming to power, Chouhan made the first big announcement of adding ₹4,000 to the central amount of ₹6,000 under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi as additional state funding, which was raised to ₹6,000 annually from this year.
“The ₹12,000 made a high impact among voters but the scheme that became a milestone for the BJP to turn the election in its favour was Ladli Behna,” said a senior BJP leader.
Women get ₹1,250 a month under the Ladli Behna scheme and the CM has promised to increase it to ₹3,000. He has, however, not given a timeframe for the same.
The scheme, which has more than 13 million beneficiaries, was credited the most by BJP leaders on Sunday for the election victory. Chouhan thanked the blessings of Ladli Behnas, election management by Union home minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s guarantees for the poll victory.
“Its a blessing and love of my sisters that BJP won the election with such a huge majority. The management of the central leadership and the guidance of Union home minister Amit Shah and the guarantees of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to improve the lives of people won it for us,” the CM said.
Along with the Ladli Behna scheme, the CM also reduced LPG prices to ₹450 a cylinder and announced 100 units of electricity at ₹100 and a special financial assistance to women of Sehariya, Baiga and Bharia.
Out of the 27.1 million voters, 20.67 million caste their votes on November 17. Political experts said that women and farmers cast their votes in favour of the BJP influenced by these welfare schemes.
“The women beneficiaries received ₹1,250 and farmer voters received ₹10,000 just a few days before voting. This direct benefit in the accounts of beneficiaries played an important role in the victory of the BJP,” said Girija Shankar, adding that these schemes ended the anti-incumbency wave that was prominent in June this year.
The welfare schemes were praised both by PM Modi and Amit Shah in their speeches during the campaign. Shah also warned that if Congress came to power, it would discontinue the scheme for women. Not only this scheme, the PM also warned voters of the possible discontinuation of schemes such as PM Kisan Samman Nidhi and PM Housing Scheme by the Congress.
Apart from these welfare schemes, the CM increased wages and salaries of the contractual and permanent employees, negating any impact of the Congress promise of giving them the Old Pension Scheme.
“This became a major factor that unsatisfied employees and those who were staging protests on roads also voted for the BJP, which resulted in an early lead through postal ballots for the party,” Shankar said.
In addition to populist schemes, the BJP’s election management was much better than that of the Congress, experts said.
From rebellion management to campaign strategy, Shah took a lead. He frequently visited Madhya Pradesh and called senior party leaders to Delhi to discuss campaign issues. The BJP announced the names of 39 candidates for seats that the Congress had won in 2018 at least three months before the elections. This helped as senior Congress leaders such as Digvijaya Singh’s brother Laxman Singh and Jitu Patwari lost. The BJP won 35 of these seats.
The decision of fielding four MPs and three Union ministers on tougher seats was also successful as two ministers Prahlad Patel and Narendra Singh Tomar and three MPs --- Rao Uday Pratap Singh, Rakesh Singh and Riti Pathak --- won their respective seats.
Political expert Jayram Shukla said, “It was a battle between beneficiaries of the BJP and aspirants of the Congress and the management style of the BJP versus the corporate management of the Congress. The Congress utterly failed and its electoral management was poor. The BJP emerged not just as a successful populist party but also as a party of effective strategists.”
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