Bhopal: The team of BJP and that of Congress for by-polls are different from the ones that fought Vidhan Sabha elections in 2018.
Nevertheless, the captains of both teams are same, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and MPCC president Kamal Nath.
During the assembly elections, Rakesh Singh was the president of BJP’s state unit. Singh has been replaced by VD Sharma. Joint organising secretary Atul Rai has been replaced by Hitanand Sharma. Minister of urban administration department Bhupendra Singh is heading BJP’s election management committee.
Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar was the coordinator of the election management panel in the assembly elections. Home minister Narottam Mishra and Lal Singh Arya coordinated with Tomar. All three leaders are out of election management committee.
Arya and Mishra have been given responsibility of Dabra and Bhander seats respectively. The entry of Jyotiraditya Scindia has made a big difference. In last assembly elections, Scindia sought votes for Congress. In the by-polls, he is criticising Congress to the hilt and seeking votes for BJP.
Congress party’s election team has changed. Former chief minister Kamal Nath is holding the reins of the party in by-polls. Former chief minister Digvijaya Singh who gives advice to Nath is not as active as he was in Vidhan Sabha elections.
As Scindia defected to BJP, the Congress has lost a good campaigner. Apart from that, some senior leaders who were active in Vidhan Sabha elections are not seen in the by-polls.
The role of former leader of opposition Ajay Singh and that of the then MPCC president Suresh Pachouri have become limited. Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha is also maintaining a distance.
The control of Congress’s media cell has gone from Shobha Oza to Jitu Patwari. Sajjan Singh Verma and Narmada Prasad Prajapati are seen in PCC. Several Congress leaders who were active in the assembly elections have been sidelined. Nath is counting on old hands of Congress and on ex-ministers who are close to him.