Express News Service

BHOPAL:  In what was billed as the battle of heavyweights, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan  outsmarted Leader of Opposition Kamal Nath as the ruling BJP outperformed the Congress in Madhya Pradesh. Chouhan came all out in the campaign trail. In contrast, Nath not only joined the campaign trail late, but also largely confined himself to addressing lesser rallies.

While Chouhan addressed 39 rallies between September 29 and October 27 (maximum 8 in Prithvipur assembly seat, Nath addressed merely 13 rallies between October 12 and October 17.  Not only did 74-year-old Kamal Nath hit the campaign trail nearly two weeks after 62-year-old Chouhan did, but also addressed 26 less meetings than the present CM.

And that wasn’t all, as Nath just stood confined to addressing a few rallies, while Chouhan followed the rallies with night halts at the houses of BJP workers at five places. “These polls have once again established that the CM is the most charismatic BJP leader in the state. His night halt in Jobat-ST seat, which has been a Congress citadel, played a seminal role in boosting BJP’s chances.

The night halt was followed by early morning chaupal with tribals, which not only boosted BJP prospects among tribals, but also compelled the BJP workers to shelve their anger over fielding of imported candidate (Sulochana Rawat) instead of a core BJP candidate and work unitedly for the party’s success,” said Chandrabhan Singh Bhadauria, a senior journalist who extensively covered the Jobat-ST by-poll.Another Congress Digvijaya Singh too suffered major jolt due to the loss in Khandwa Lok Sabha and Jobat-ST seat, where electioneering was largely supervised by him.