But the one who seems to be gaining from tiffs and miffs of BJP is Union Coal Minister and senior Congress leader Shriprakash Jaiswal. The Congress candidate emerged victorious thrice from this crucial constituency by dint of his clinical management skills. He has put in all his efforts to make an impact this time around as well.

Though he faces an uphill task this time as he has been pitted against another former Union minister and veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, even the fact that a leader with national prominence is contesting the polls from this city has not been able to put water on the anger in the saffron camp.

It’s indeed quite clear that Kanpur is going to witness a direct contest between Shriprakash Jaiswal and Murli Manohar Joshi. Even Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Aam Aadmi Party are not even in the nub of political discussion here.

Jaiswal’s major strength lies in the support he receives from the Muslim community and the indications are almost ominous that the Coal Minister would once again get their backing. At the same time, the issue of inflation, price-rise along with anti-incumbency wave against the government is looming large in this city, which has a sizeable population of labourers.

Besides, there are some local issues as well along with the benefits the city stands to receive from Jaiswal as he is a Union Minister. At the same time, among some of the major scams which surfaced during the tenure of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the issue of coal block allocation is directly related to Jaiswal’s ministry.

Even in these indifferent conditions, Jaiswal is gaining from the lack of co-ordination and unity in the city’s BJP unit. MM Joshi is dealing with the anger of party MLA who has been denied ticket. Apart from this, Joshi’s strict and straight-forward behavior and the fact that he is an ‘outsider’, is one of the key issues in the polls.

The internal rift in the BJP camp is mainly considered as one of the major reasons behind their defeat from this key constituency for the past three outings and even this time around, there has been no significant change in the scheme of things even though a heavyweight leader is contesting the elections.

What’s working in MM Joshi’s favour is his image of a clean and intellectual leader but his ‘dry’ behavior may come off as a spoiler as it’s being counted among his weaknesses. However, Modi factor is clearly visible in this city as well and the veteran leader can gain from it as there is no dearth of such voters who would simply cast their vote in the name of Modi without taking the one who is contesting the elections into consideration.

For every anti-BJP talks, NaMo fans have only one counter – “Acchhe din aane waale hai” (Good day are ahead).


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