BJP, Congress crowd out others in Madhya Pradesh

April 2nd, 2009 - 11:56 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bhopal, April 2 (IANS) With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress dominating politics in Madhya Pradesh for decades, ‘third force’ parties have found little place. Election 2009 could well be the same.
While parties like the Samajwadi Party, Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) play a critical role elsewhere, they have been unable to make a dent in Madhya Pradesh.

There have been honourable exceptions though — like in 1996 when BSP candidate Sukhlal Kushwaha sprang a surprise by defeating Congress veteran Arjun Singh for the Satna parliamentary seat. But in 1998 he was pushed to number three position.

The 2004 Lok Sabha elections were a case in point. None of the parties - the BSP, Samajwadi Party, Gondwana Gantantra Party (GGP), Bharatiya Gondwana Party (BGP) or the CPI-M - fared well, and many candidates ended up losing their deposits.

The BJP romped home winning 25 of Madhya Pradesh’s 29 seats. The rest went to the Congress.

The BSP contested 28 seats and its candidates lost their deposits in 26. The Samajwadi Party got a drubbing in all 29 it contested and the GGP suffered the same fate in all 15 constituencies.

The Communist Party of India and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) candidates lost their deposits in both the seats they contested. Ditto with the JD-U, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the CPI-M that contested one seat each.

“There has been talk of a Third Front in the state several times in the past but it has never been fruitful. The biggest reason could be attributed to parties like the BSP and the Samajwadi Party which don’t want to join hands with anyone because they think they alone can turn the tables,” said analyst Girija Shankar.

“In 2004 there were great hopes from the GGP, but it has now split into four. The BSP too was considered a force to reckon with, but in 2004 it got only 4.75 percent of the votes polled,” added another analyst, Vijay Tewari.

BJP and Congress leaders are confident that this election will prove no different.

“It is because of our work that other parties don’t get any mileage. People know that voting for smaller parties would amount to wasting their votes… People in Madhya Pradesh vote for performance,” BJP spokesperson Govind Malu said.

State Congress secretary Rajiv Singh agreed.

“How can you expect a third front or any other force to come into being when those likely to form it are never able to come on one platform. People don’t want to make Madhya Pradesh another Bihar or Uttar Pradesh.”

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