Veteran Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader and Bharat Raksha Manch national convenor Suryakant Kelkar, who is believed to have brought Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Indian politics, has said that defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Kolaras and Mungaoli bypolls was a result of anti-incumbency.
According to Kelkar, the BJP needs to now change the face of the government in Madhya Pradesh and also include new faces in the Cabinet. He said that one person being in power for long period results in dip in popularity of the government, and this is what the BJP experienced in the bypolls.
He, however, added that the popularity of the BJP ideology and nationalism has increased among people, hence winning elections might not be trouble for the party, but anti-incumbency does make a dent in the prospects of the party.
During emergency days, Kelkar was an office bearer of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, and Chouhan was arrested after his name was found mentioned in the diary of the RSS leader. Later, Kelkar convinced Chouhan to join politics.
The statement by the RSS leader comes days after the Congress emerged victorious in both Kolaras and Mungaoli seats in Madhya Pradesh bypolls.
Mahendra Singh Yadav of the Congress won the Kolaras bypoll by 8083 votes. The party got 82515 votes while the BJP could bag 74432 votes. In Mungaoli, Bijendra Singh Yadav of Congress won by 2124 votes as BJP candidate Sahab Yadav got 68684 votes.
While the BJP has been in power in Madhya Pradesh since December 8, 2003, Chouhan became the chief minister on November 29, 2005. Under him, the BJP has decimated the opposition in every election in the state. But a string of by-election losses in the last few months have dented the party.
Chouhan led the BJP campaign in Kolaras as well as Mungaoli, well aware that any setback would lead to his rivals within and outside the BJP claiming that his charisma is on the wane. Chouhan made several promises during the campaign for the tribals as well as farmers in a bid to make a dent in the Congress citadel.