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Fear of poor turnout due to Coronavirus worries politicians ahead of MP bypoll

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BHOPAL: Apprehensions of extremely poor turnout is worrying the ruling party ahead of the bypolls in the State.

On paper, BJP is strong as it has 107 legislators compared to Congress' 89. 

Hence, it can attain a simple majority even if its strike rate is much less in the byelections, compared to Congress. 

Congress needs to win most of the seats, in order to retain power. This is an extremely difficult proposition. Though BJP too faces a tough task, as large sections of the cadre is upset due to Scindia's entry into the party, it still has a strong organisation apart from the machinery that is needed to contest elections. 

BJP leaders, however, feel that the biggest challenge would be to get voters to the booth. It senses that there is no wave. And, there is a visible lack of interest among electorate. BJP has decided to deploy in-charge and workers for each booth. They will be given task to persuade voters to come and vote.

The feedback received from the ground is that electorate don't want to take a risk. 'They feel that for months they have been avoiding going out, especially, to any such place where there is crowd. They don't seem too enthusiastic about voting', admitted a BJP organisation leader, who said that turnout may be low.

This will hurt the party, feel insiders who are worried after a survey that predicts poor show in Chambal region. Scindia's entry has changed equations as established leaders in the BJP are now feeling sidelined. However, BJP is ahead of Congress in making strategies and planning how to get voters to the booth.

The senior citizens are less likely to go to the polling booths and the party is already aware of the prospect. Hence, the Mahila, Yuva and other morchas have already been given responsibilities. The in-charge and members will have to reach each household and ensure higher voting.