Madhya Pradesh election results: Gimmicks political parties are trying ahead of elections

From gaushalas to wooing Computer Baba, there is nothing Madhya Pradesh election hasn’t seen.

 |  3-minute read |   10-12-2018
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Elections in India offer a rather amusing time with political parties either doing or promising bizarre things and in bizarre ways. With people holding a general sense of discontent both against politicians and politics, people and parties contesting elections try to woo voters with gimmicks.

So what are the gimmicks that stakeholders have put on display in Madhya Pradesh? 

Competitive cow politics

Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath has promised a gaushala in every panchayat of the state if the party is voted to power.

“The BJP is indulging in politics over ‘gau mata’, but doing nothing substantial to save hundreds of cows that are dying on a regular basis. If the Congress comes to power, a gaushala will be set up in panchayats across the state,” Nath told an election rally.   

The state already has a Madhya Pradesh Gau Samvardhan Board (cow protection board) under the BJP government.

assembly_2013_112618073239.jpg

Chairman of the cow protection board, Swami Akhileshwaranand Giri, had sought the formation of ‘cow ministry’ in the state in June this year.

Earlier, when the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government elevated Giri to minister of state (MoS) rank, the chairman got miffed contending that as cow board chairman he was entitled to cabinet minister’s rank and not MoS.

In the name of the cow, parties can promise whatever they want because even if the promises are not fulfilled; the cow won’t be heard complaining.

Shiv Bhakti

Posters calling Congress president Rahul Gandhi ‘Shiv Bhakt’ went up around Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal around September around the time Gandhi embarked on a road show ahead of the Assembly elections.

shiv-bhakt-690_112618063021.jpgA poster welcoming 'Shiv bhakt Rahul Gandhi' to Bhopal. (Photo: Twitter/ANI)

The posters had cutouts showing Gandhi pouring water on a Shivalinga with cutouts of the other Congress leaders surrounding Rahul Gandhi’s photo.

The Congress president also visited temples around Madhya Pradesh in order to position himself as a proponent of ‘soft Hindutva’.

kamal-nath-690_112618063151.jpgAs a devotee of Lord Shiva, Rahul Gandhi visited Pitambara Peeth in Datia with senior party leaders.

Babas made ministers

In the run-up to the elections, long before the dates were announced, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan granted minister of state (MoS) status to five sadhus — Computer Baba, Narmadanand Maharaj, Hariharanand Maharaj, Bhayyu Maharaj and Pandit Yogendra Mahant — in a year the state will be going to the polls.

It was alleged that the move came after these sadhus threatened to take out a rath yatra against ‘Narmada plantation scam’ from April 1 to May 15.

Interestingly, Computer Baba (aka Swami Namdev Tyagi), who cancelled the yatra then and accepted the MoS status then, has now switched over to the Congress and asked people to not vote for the BJP, but Congress.

Want tickets? Get Facebook likes

In a letter to ‘ticket aspirants’, the Madhya Pradesh Congress committee has said that candidates "must have 15,000 likes on their Facebook page, 5,000 followers on Twitter and a WhatsApp group of booth-level workers".

ticket-690_112618063321.jpgThe letter Congress wrote to ticket aspirants.

They must also like and re-tweet every post on the state Congress Twitter account, the letter said.

Shining shoes

Rashtriya Aamjan Party candidate Sharad Singh Kumar is contesting on the election symbol of a shoe has garnered attention owing to his unique style of campaigning.

Singh is polishing shoes of people ahead of Madhya Pradesh Elections and says that he will make use of his unique election symbol to turn it into a blessing.

Also read: Madhya Pradesh Assembly election: How both BJP and Congress are trying to rein in the rebel candidates

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