Slippers, stones and black flags replace words in Madhya Pradesh poll season

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The campaigning in Madhya Pradesh for the state assembly elections, which is barely two months away, has reached a new low with dissent being expressed through black flags, stones and slippers, and sometimes also heckling of the leaders. The two main political parties in the state, the BJP and the Congress, are blaming each other.
On Sunday, stones were pelted on chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s Jan Ashirvad Yatra bus at Churhat in Sidhi district, where slippers were also hurled during his public function. The same day, he was shown black flags at two other places.
Over 34 people have been booked under various sections for the ‘attack’ on Chouhan, with home minister Bhupendra Singh calling it an attempt on the CM’s life. The BJP blamed the Congress for the disruptions.Congress leader and Churhat legislator Ajay Singh demanded an inquiry into the events and agreed that this has never been the culture of Madhya Pradesh.“I am saddened by the events, but it is equally true that wrong people have been framed. Calling it an attempt on the life of the CM is ridiculous. There is anger among the youth over several issues and social media is fuelling it. Political parties should sit down and work out a way of addressing them rather than blame each other,” Singh said.Chouhan is not the only BJP leader greeted by black flags. Over the last week, Union minister for social justice and empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot faced black flags in Guna, state health minister Rustam Singh and BJP MP Prabhat Jhan was presented with bangles and shown black flags in Morena, while Mandsaur MP Sudhir Gupta had to face the ire of locals in his constituency.The Congress too is seeing its share of problems. AICC general secretary and State in-charge Deepak Babaria was allegedly heckled by his own party members in Rewa on July 29, and had to leave an event in Vidisha on August 6 when supporters of two groups clashed over sharing of dais.