"Congress worked hard but BJP more likely to form government in MP": Former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan
The former Speaker said, "Prime Minister Narendra is doing great work, which is impacting the country's aspirational and educated youth positively."
Weighing in on the party's prospects of returning to power in Madhya Pradesh, BJP leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Saturday said while the Congress worked hard to bring about a change of guard at the helm, the incumbent is in with a better chance of winning the state.
Speaking to ANI on Saturday, the former Speaker said, "Prime Minister Narendra is doing great work, which is impacting the country's aspirational and educated youth positively."
"The central government is doing good work and the BJP-ruled states are doing likewise. Our government in Uttar Pradesh is also putting in an enviable effort in the service of the people. However, some people here ask why bulldozers (against criminals and history-sheeters) are not being used in Madhya Pradesh (like UP). To them, I would say it isn't a government policy and they are used only when required," Mahajan added.
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Voicing confidence in her party's chances, with the majority of exit polls putting the BJP in the lead in Madhya Pradesh, the former Speaker said, "I can say that the BJP appears likely to form the government in Madhya Pradesh."
Saying it was 'fun' fighting elections when pitted against a strong adversary, Mahajan told ANI, "The Congress worked hard in Madhya Pradesh this time. Their leaders Kamal Nath (state president and former chief minister) and Digvijay Singh (former CM) put in the hard yards. When you are pitted against a strong opponent, it makes you that much more determined to win and it's more fun fighting them. The BJP and the Congress were on an equal footing going into the elections in Madhya Pradesh. However, I would say that the BJP had more impact on the people during the campaign phase and would form the next government here."
Meanwhile, speaking to ANI, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who is also contesting the polls, also exuded confidence in the party winning three of the five states that went to polls last month.
"The BJP is going to form the government in three of the five states (that polled for their assemblies last month). These states are Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. We will secure more than 160 seats in Madhya Pradesh and form the government with a comfortable majority," the senior BJP leader told ANI on Saturday.
Taking a swipe at the Congress, he said it pins the blame on EVMs whenever it faces defeat in elections.
Also speaking to ANI on Saturday, Congress leader Jitu Patwari claimed the grand old party will form the government in Madhya Pradesh, winning about 135 seats.
"The people of the country have faith in the Congress. They are turning back to the party, which shaped the country. We are a party of the people. The people of Madhya Pradesh are saying that the Congress will form the government here with an overwhelming majority," Patwari told ANI.
Earlier, on Saturday, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra took potshots at the Congress, saying, "Just wait and watch tomorrow. They will again raise questions on the electronic voting machines (EVMs)."
Speaking to reporters in the Morena district of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday, Mishra weighed in on the exit-poll projections for the state at the end of polling for Telangana on November 30, Thursday.
"They will raise questions over the EVMs tomorrow like they are questioning the exit polls. Whenever the Congress faces defeat, they start questioning EVMS, courts, army, vaccines, exit polls and more," the BJP leader added.
However, Congress MP and Kamal Nath's son, Nakul Nath, was bullish on the Congress's chances of wresting Madhya Pradesh from the BJP.
Speaking to ANI in Chhindwara on Saturday, Nakul said, "I have full faith in the people of Chhindwara and Madhya Pradesh that they will shower their love and blessings on Kamal Nath. The day after tomorrow, we will know from the Public Relations Department how much the BJP paid the agencies conducting exit-poll surveys. We will talk again tomorrow after the results are declared."
Madhya Pradesh polled for its 230-member Assembly on November 17 and recorded a robust overall voter turnout of 77.82 per cent.
The votes for four of the five states -- Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana -- will be counted on Sunday.