Regional (M.P & C.G)

Election Fever Missing in Old Bhopal

Bhopal: Weeks after elections were announced an uncanny quiet continues to prevail in the old city area of the state capital – especially as slogans, posters, public meetings, banners, verbal duels and other paraphernalia associated with the election season are conspicuously missing this time around.

The primary battle in the state capital is between Kailash Joshi of the BJP and Surendra Singh Thakur of the Congress, though, Joshi was seen campaigning in the Shaheed Nagar area of the old city on Thursday, Thakur is fast proving to be a damp squib for his faction riddled party.

The lethargy in the Congress campaign has ignited several loud debates on the infamous Bhopal ‘patiyas,’ where the know-all patiya wallah’s can be seen poring over Thakur’s campaign strategy or, perhaps, the lack of it, till early into the mornings.

Some attribute it to the virtual throwing in of the towel by the Congress candidate while others point out at an undeclared ploy that sent Thakur seeking votes in suburban parts of the constituency, especially as the minority Muslim votes in the old city were practically guaranteed to him.

The more politically astute say the Congress campaign has been hit by the growing prospects of a change of guard in the state Congress unit, which could come about after the Lok Sabha elections.

They say state party chief Suresh Pachouri’s ouster, if it happens, could spell doom for those seen supporting a campaign led by him, especially as control of the party unit is sure to be passed on to another one of the party’s all powerful capo-regimes.

The situation they say, is no better in other parts of the state, especially as senior party functionaries have time-and-again chosen coterie considerations over party compulsions, and the feeble campaign pitch in 2009 sounds no different.

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