Ahead of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, scheduled later this year, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), has planned a public meeting in Jabalpur. According to a party leader, Chandraprabhash Shekhar, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will arrive in Jabalpur around 10:30 am on June 12. Her visit will begin with offering prayers to ‘Maa Narmada’ at Gwari Ghat, followed by addressing a gathering at Shaheed Smarak. Subsequently, she will conclude her visit and depart for New Delhi.
Congress MLA and former MP finance minister, Tarun Bhanot, stated that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will commence her visit with the Narmada puja at Gwarighat, a holy riverbank in Jabalpur. This will be followed by a roadshow and a public rally, officially launching the party’s campaign and Sankalp 2023. The Congress party is actively preparing to regain power in Madhya Pradesh and considers seeking the blessings of the Narmada River an important aspect of their campaign.
Jagat Bahadur Singh, the Mayor of Jabalpur and a Congress leader expressed confidence that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s roadshow would cover a 2-kilometre stretch within Jabalpur and attract a crowd of 1.5-2 lakh people. Singh believes that the people of Jabalpur division, consisting of eight districts, are dissatisfied with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He predicts a strong Congress performance in the Mahakoshal region during the upcoming Assembly polls.
The Congress party lost power in Madhya Pradesh in March 2020 due to a rebellion by a group of MLAs. After the 2018 Assembly polls, where the Congress emerged as the largest party, their government led by Kamal Nath collapsed after 15 months, triggered by a rebellion led by Jyotiraditya Scindia, who now serves as a Union minister. Over 20 loyal MLAs also joined the rebellion. Subsequently, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regained control of the state.
In the last election, the Congress secured 114 seats out of the 230-member Assembly, while the BJP won 109 seats. However, the BJP’s seat count increased to 127 after by-polls were held in nearly two dozen constituencies due to resignations by sitting MLAs. As a result, the Congress’ tally decreased to 93 seats. BJP has ruled in Madhya Pradesh since 2003 except for the period between December 2018 and March 2020.