Bhopal, Nov 4: Ruling BJP is poised to retain power in Madhya Pradesh with a 'comfortable majority' after warding off all negative factors and encashing the popularity of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, party Secretary Prabhat Jha said on Tuesday, Nov 4. ''Possibly, it is the first election in Madhya Pradesh as well as in neighbouring Chhattisgarh where the opposition could not rake up anti-incumbency wave against the BJP governments. It was also the first time that BJP could rule for full five-year term and was poised to start second innings in both states'', he told sources.
Indirectly admitting that the BJP may not be able to retain all 173 seats that it won in 2003, Mr Jha says Mr Chouhan's popularity will keep the party in good shape at the hustings.
Besides, Mr Chouhan is endowed with the asset of having no rival in the party. On the other hand, state party president Narendra Singh Tomar was complementing the government efforts to serve the common man, he said.
Mr Jha, who is a Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh, said after the successful five-year regime the party workers were confident to exercise their capacity to retain power for another term on a positive note. Admitting that BSP factor of ''Bijli, Sadak, Pani''( Power, Road, Water) had brought the party to power five years ago, the BJP Secretary said the Chouhan government had strengthened road network and irrigation facilities and improved electricity distribution arrangement to a great extent.
''Kiya Hai Vikas, Rachenge Itihas'', would be the party's motto for the Assembly poll, Mr Jha said, adding the UPA government's failures particularly in tackling terrorism and price rise would also be highlighted during the campaigning, which would start across the state on November 10.
Outrightly rejecting any impact due to frequent change of chief ministers, Mr Jha countered ''the BJP had raised the stature of Ms Uma Sadhvi, but what was her contribution to the party in return''.
On the other hand, Mr Babulal Gaur had shown that party discipline was paramount.
''It is a matter of concern that people's representatives were not held in high esteem in the society and people often hate them'', Mr Jha admitted referring to corruption charges against certain ministers saying it was a fallout of society dependency.
It was heartening that there was no anti-incumbency factor against the BJP governments in MP and Chhattisgarh. To ward off negative factors at local level, about 54 sitting members were not renominated and few leaders were shifted to other areas. At least half a dozen members of Parliament were contesting the Assembly poll.
With bipolar politics going to stay in MP, Mr Jha said, it was BJP versus Congress again and there was no existence of a third front. People were not ready to accept the attempts of parties like Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and Gondwana Gantantra Party to emerge as a third force.
Expressing optimism, he said BJP was in fine shape in the reserved constituencies, which decided the poll destiny of any party in Madhya Pradesh.
Congress could not rise as an effective opposition in the past five years, he pointed out saying no agitation was staged against the BJP governments.
In Chhattisgarh, he said, former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi used his energy to ensure his wife Renu's victory in a bypoll, while in Madhya Pradesh, former MPCC chief Subhash Yadav's only success was to facilitate his son's victory also in a bypoll.
Disharmony in the Congress was evident from the fact that it could not so far project anybody as Chief Ministerial nominee.
Leader of opposition Jamuna Devi could not pin down the government on any issue.
In sharp contrast, there was complete cohesion in the BJP with the party organisation and government complementing each other's efforts, Mr Jha said, adding shortcomings of the Congress would help BJP to rule for another term.