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After defeat in Rajasthan, anti-incumbency could work against Shivraj too, fear BJP leaders

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BHOPAL: The defeat in bypolls in Rajasthan have come as a big blow to the BJP, and there are fears that anti-incumbency may work in upcoming bypolls in neighbouring MP too.

Elections are due in Kolaras and Mungaoli seats in Madhya Pradesh this month. Later this year, the Assembly polls would be held, too.

The loss in Rajasthan has been striking as the party was defeated by huge margin. Congress managed to win Ajmer, Alwar Lok sabha seats as well as Mandalgarh assembly constituency, with ease.

Anti-incumbency was clearly the factor. But as the margin suggested that there was a wave against Vasundhara Raje government. Now, with such a defeat in one state, BJP leaders are worried that Madhya Pradesh could be next.

After all, here also BJP suffers from huge anti-incumbency. Shivraj Chouhan has been at the helm for more than 12 years. The ‘mama’ has succeeded in keeping his detractors within the BJP at bay. But, now there is growing unrest.

From farmers to employees, visually challenged youth to students, unemployed to teachers, almost every section is unhappy and taking to streets time and again. Insiders in the BJP accept that there is discontent among farmers.

"The regime has been around for more than a decade and there is bound to be anti-incumbency. But leadership is aware and taking steps to ensure that the party wins bypolls", says a senior leader in the BJP headquarters.

Meanwhile, after the results, Congress is clearly buoyant. In Madhya Pradesh, Jyotiraditya Scindia has emerged as the main leader who brings youth and energey. Digvijaya Singh’s yatra is proving to be a headache for Shivraj.

In Rajasthan, BJP has suffered massive loss in terms of vote percentage also. The Hindutva card didn’t work either in Rajasthan. Alwar was the place where cow vigilantes were involved in killing Muslims but here the BJP lost by a huge margin.

To give credit, Congress’ Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot had worked hard on the ground. If the party leaders—Scindia, Kamal Nath and Diggy work together, it is going to be a tough task  for Shivraj to win the upcoming election. The upcoming Assembly polls in Kolaras and Mungawli will be a big test. If the BJP faces defeat, it could be the sign of things to come.