The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to reclaim power in Madhya Pradesh, with Shivraj Singh Chouhan securing a substantial majority. Despite the absence of a formal declaration of Shivraj as the Chief Ministerial face, his leadership emerged central to the campaign. Key factors contributed to Shivraj’s triumph, notably the Ladli Behan Yojana, a scheme benefitting 1.31 crore women in the state. The emotional appeal, Shivraj’s personal popularity among women, and the success of direct benefit transfer principles added to his electoral appeal.
Ladli Behan Yojana’s Game-Changing Impact
The Ladli Behan Yojana played a pivotal role in Shivraj’s comeback. Providing Rs 1250 every month to 1.31 crore women in Madhya Pradesh, the scheme became a key factor behind the massive support for Shivraj. The trust instilled in the scheme and its beneficiaries translated into significant votes. Despite BJP not officially naming Shivraj as the CM face, he successfully presented himself as a reliable leader, particularly among women voters.
Emotional Card and Brand Shivraj’s Appeal
Addressing speculations about his weakened position, Shivraj played the emotional card during the campaign. He asked voters if they desired their maternal uncle, their brother, to become the Chief Minister, eliciting a resounding response. Shivraj, with 16 years of leadership, emerged as a brand in front of voters, showcasing the development of Madhya Pradesh and reinforcing their faith in him.
Hindutva Brand and the Bulldozer Factor
Deep-rooted Sangh and Hindutva sentiments in Madhya Pradesh played a significant role. The BJP strategically emphasized Hindutva, aligning it with the party’s core agenda. Leaders like Shivraj, Amit Shah, and Yogi Adityanath set the narrative, with references to the Ram temple in Ayodhya and invitations for visits. Shivraj’s utilization of the Bulldozer brand of politics, akin to Uttar Pradesh, further contributed to BJP’s political advantage.
Shivraj’s multifaceted approach, combining effective governance, emotional connect, targeted schemes, and alignment with Hindutva principles, played a pivotal role in securing a decisive victory in Madhya Pradesh.