Madhya Pradesh is facing its second elections in less than six months. It has been a long journey for the State in the last five years from getting out of the list of ?sick states? to a promising, peaceful and developing state that leads the way in consolidating its roots in agriculture, farmers, poor, health, education and women empowerment as its primary instruments of development, and does not believe that blind eye foreign investment will determine its destiny. The taste of development has largely changed the mood of the voter in the State, who now endorses sustained development, employment and prosperity in the polling booths.
Most surveys have given a large majority to the BJP estimating 24 or 25 seats in Madhya Pradesh, however the most important factor that forms a strong undercurrent in these elections has gone unnoticed to most analysts and observers.
Another significant issue in Madhya Pradesh is the appointment of Sushma Swaraj as the General Secretary in charge for the elections. Madhya Pradesh has one of the largest percentage of working women in the country, most of them unaccounted for as they are labourers. It is these women voters that had played a significant role in bringing Uma Bharati to power in 2004, and then again voted for Shivraj Singh Chouhan for his Ladli Lakshmi Yojna. Smt Swaraj enjoys a traditional yet competitive and strong image in the both rural and urban female voters in Madhya Pradesh, and is certainly a personality Congress has no one to match up with.
Also important is the development and governance of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, his personal credibility among the masses and his ability to surpass the bureaucracy to reach the people directly with his ideas and initiatives. To add to his benefit is his team of senior BJP office bearers in the State that has the strongest team work as compared to any other State units of the country.
The mood of the voter in central India therefore is very certain, though it may not be evident. The undercurrent is strong, and it is the national issues, specially nationalism and security that will determine the outcome of the general elections here. If the BJP cadres continue their hard work and are not taken over by over confidence in their campaign, the results will show a sweep in their favour like has never been seen before.
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