Bhopal: Budhni constituency in Madhya Pradesh is considered a saffron citadel with three-time Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan representing the seat in the Assembly. But it might not be a cakewalk for Chouhan this time.
The voters of Budhni are miffed over the lack of development in some villages. Though there is a continuous supply of electricity and concrete roads, there are parts of the constituency which reel under severe water crisis. The primary health services are also dismal. Many primary health centres are without doctors and people have to travel many miles to seek medical treatment.
Shivraj’s wife Sadhna and son Kartikya Chouha are canvassing for the CM but are facing public ire at some places during the campaign trail.
Chouhan prides himself as a son of a farmer but many farmers in his constituency are angry due to lack of irrigation facilities despite the Narmada flowing through this region.
People also pointed out that local BJP leaders, who have been entrusted with the task of development, have not performed their duties.
Ground reality is not lost on Chouhan, who has deployed nearly 20 ministers in Budhni. They are travelling from village to village to seek votes.
Meanwhile, Congress candidate Arun Yadav thinks winds of change are blowing in Budhni. Both Yadavand Chouhan hail from the Kirar community – an Other Backward Caste— which comprises nearly 70% voters.
During the last two elections, the opposition Congress could not find a powerful candidate to take on the CM, but the situation has changed as the Congress has pitted a strong face in Yadav.
Yadav has served as the president of the Madhya Pradesh Congress unit and a former MP. He was a junior minister in the Manmohan Singh government.
However, when it comes to voting people tend to side with the chief minister and pin their hopes on him. Moreover, locals say the place is much better than what it was during the Congress’ rule under Digvijaya Singh.
Budhni has been a BJP stronghold. Chouhan won this Assembly seat for the first time in 1990 and again in 2006 months after he replaced Babulal Gaur as chief minister.
MP goes to polls on November 28 and results will be declared on December 11.