The first list comprising the names of around 80 candidates for the Assembly elections will be released by the middle of September.
The first list of Congress candidates in Madhya Pradesh will be released by 15 September. The list will reveal the names of around 80 candidates who will be contesting on “difficult” seats.
Congress leaders from the state, who were in New Delhi earlier this week for seat sharing talks with the BSP, said that the rationale behind declaring the candidates for the difficult seats first, where the Congress has not performed well in the last 15 to 20 years, was to give ample time to the candidates to officially begin their campaigning.
These seats are spread across the state including Bhopal, Vidisha, Indore, Khandwa, Rewa, Sehore, Hoshangabad and Jabalpur.
“In most of these seats the candidates have more or less been decided; they have already begun their campaigning and the announcement is a formal process that will be done by the second week of September. The list for the remaining seats is likely to be declared in two phases. There are close to 50 seats where there is more than one strong name in the panel or seats where the top leaders are rooting for their respective candidates. The decision regarding these seats will be done at the high command level. Our only focus right now is to dislodge the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. It is already on a slippery ground as the content of his campaigning shows,” a senior party functionary claimed.
The Congress strategists who are based in Bhopal and have been analysing CM Shivraj’s speeches during his state-wide Jan Ashirwad Yatra claim that he is focusing more on what the Congress did not do during its rule rather than talk about what he has done.
“This is totally a negative campaign; he does not have anything to speak about his achievements. In 2013 he had introduced many programmes and schemes which helped the poor and women but this time he has nothing to boast about,” a party spokesperson said.
According to Congress leaders, multiple surveys carried out by state president Kamal Nath in his personal capacity and by the party through different agencies, have pointed out that there was a massive anti-incumbency against the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. “This time our campaigning is being done very systematically. Kamal Nath believes doing things systematically and sets deadlines for everything. The final outcome of the result will depend on ticket distribution. We do not have a face as such so the voters will look at his candidates and then vote unlike with the BJP which, is most areas, is banking on the ‘charisma’ of CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. If we are able to even distribute 70% of the tickets on merit, we will win more than 130 seats easily,” the leader claimed. The MP Assembly has 230 seats.