Bhopal: No Cakewalk For Veteran BJP, Cong Leaders This Election

Bhopal: No Cakewalk For Veteran BJP, Cong Leaders This Election

What is worrying them is that they don’t know the mood of first-time voters whose voting can make a difference in the result.

Rajan RaikwarUpdated: Sunday, November 05, 2023, 10:39 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): In this election, there are veteran leaders from both BJP and Congress who are looking to get elected for the sixth to eighth time in their careers, but this election is unlikely to be a cakewalk for them as they are facing numerous challenges.

What is worrying them is that they don’t know the mood of first-time voters whose voting can make a difference in the result. Therefore, they are using everything within their power to win over the youngsters. BJP candidate from Rehli, Gopal Bhargava is a stalwart and a seven-time MLA. He has remained a member of the legislature since 1985. Owing to his strong public connection, he enjoys a larger-than-life image in his constituency, but this election is going to be different for him. The issues such as employment and inflation are haunting him. The bigger challenge before him is how to corner votes of the Kurmis, who form a sizeable population in the constituency, as there are six Independent candidates from the Kurmi community in the fray. There are chances that some votes would be cornered by Kurmi Independent candidates and this would be a loss for Bhargava.

Congress candidate from Lahar and leader of Opposition Dr Govind Singh is contesting election for the 8th time. “The major challenge before him is to maintain unity among the local Congress workers who remain divided due to their vested interests. Moreover, ex-BJP MLA Rasal Singh is contesting from the BSP and he would eat into Singh’s vote,” said a Congress insider on condition of anonymity. BJP candidate from Damoh, former finance minister Jayant Malaiya has been MLA since 1990, except in 2018, which he did not contest. Though he enjoys clout in the constituency, he faces the daunting task of keeping the party workers united to take on the opposition candidate and MLA Ajay Tandon who has grown stronger over the years. The entry of AAP has made the contest triangular. AAP has given the ticket to television actor Chahat Pandey and BJP fears that she can attract sizeable vote due to her popularity.

Therefore, this election is going to prove a hard nut to crack for him. Former Speaker, Dr Sitasharan Sharma is fighting election as BJP candidate from Narmadapuram. Dr Sharma is a five-time MLA and is looking forward to getting elected for the sixth time. But the election has become tough for him as Congress has fielded his elder brother Girijashankar Sharma. Along with this, BSP has given the ticket to Pradeep Manjhi. Dalits, who often vote for the BSP, are a sizeable number in Narmadapuram. So, though the main fight is between the BJP and the Congress, both parties are trying to woo the Dalits.

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