New Delhi: With a few days of campaigning left, the Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are claiming an anti-incumbency or a governance dividend, depending on which state is at stake.
Congress leaders say they will benefit from what they see as “an anti-incumbency” wave in the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh.
“The anti-incumbency factor will definitely play in favour of us,” insists Congress general secretary M. Veerappa Moily. “The psephologist seem to have missed the undercurrents against the government and the Sangh Parivar (the BJP’s ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its affiliates) in Madhya Pradesh. The voters are upset with the rampant corruption—there are charges against the ministers, including the chief minister, and bad governance. These feelings will come as a flood and sweep the BJP out of power.”
Not so, believes the BJP.
“The past has proved that the incumbency has always played in favour of the BJP, like in the case of Gujarat and against the Congress in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand (where the Congress was dethroned last year),” maintains Rajiv Pratap Rudy, a senior BJP leader. In Gujarat, the BJP government came back to power for the third time in December.
But, when it comes to Delhi, Moily claims Congress chief minister Sheila Dikshit has done enough “damage-control” to overcome “anti-incumbency”. Not surprisingly, Rudy argues that incumbency isn’t the issue but “inflation and terrorism” will defeat the Congress in the Capital.
Adding his own spin, Bahujan Samaj Party member of Parliament Brajesh Pathak says: “We are not bothered about the poll projections. Let’s wait for the results to come. No party will be in a position to form the government without the BSP in both Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.”