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BJP upbeat as Cong loses tribal bastions in MP

BJP upbeat as Cong loses tribal bastions in MP

To add to the woes of Congress, the BJP also wrested five Assembly seats in the bypolls.

Bhopal: The ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh is in an upbeat mood after emerging victorious at majority of the seats in the recent local bodies elections in tribal areas by virtually decimating the main Opposition Congress even in its strongholds.

To add to the woes of Congress, the BJP also wrested five Assembly seats in the bypolls (held from time-to-time from 2008 till June, 2012) which is giving the party leaders sleepless nights even as it aims to make a good show in the 2013 general elections in the state.

"Both Chhindwara and Jhabua are Congress strongholds and any defeat in these seats is not a good sign for the Congress which is desperately working on its Mission-2013 to get back to power. The party has remained out of power in the state since 2003," a senior Congress leader told PTI on condition of anonymity.

Ironically, Congress could not win even in places like Jhabua and Chhindwara represented by State Congress president Kantilal Bhuria and high profile Union Minister Kamal Nath, respectively.

What has boosted the BJP's confidence all the more is that besides these two, the party also won in the traditional Congress bastions of Mandla and Dhar.

Congress came a poor third even from ward no.12 (Gopal Colony area) where Bhuria resides in Jhabua town.

Terming the success in Congress-dominated tribal areas as a victory of BJP's ideology, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said it was sign of people's support to the development done by the party over politics of allegations.

"People want development and have voted for it. They are not interested in allegations and counter-allegations," Chouhan said apparently referring to the Congress Party's campaign which targeted the ruling BJP.

Out of the total 49 local bodies situated in tribal areas where polls were held in two phases earlier this month, the ruling BJP candidates won the post of Chairman/ Mayor of local bodies at 36 places and their allies won two seats. The Congress managed to win only at seven places while the Independents captured four chairman/ mayoral posts.

The five Assembly seats which the BJP wrested from Congress in the bypolls since 2008 are Tendukheda, Sonkatch, Jabera, Kukshi and recently Maheshwar.

In the bypolls, Congress had given tickets to the relatives of those who represented these seats in the 2008 Assembly elections, but even then it was not able to retain them thus putting a question mark over family legacy among the voters.

However, another senior Congress leader said there was nothing for the BJP to rejoice about as people in Madhya Pradesh were fed up with its "corrupt rule" and though these areas tribal-dominated, the elections were held in towns where majority of the people belong to non-tribal castes.

first published:July 13, 2012, 10:36 IST