BJP Banking On Lord Ram, Brahmins; Congress Citing Joblessness, Price Rise

BJP Banking On Lord Ram, Brahmins; Congress Citing Joblessness, Price Rise

Has returned Congress, BJP seven times each

RAJESH THAKURUpdated: Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 12:07 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Once a Congress bastion, the Sidhi Lok Sabha constituency in the Vindhya Pradesh region of Madhya Pradesh, has now turned saffron. The constituency has thrown up surprising results from time to time. It has sent nominees of the BJP, the Congress and also of other parties to the Lok Sabha.    

Sidhi is witnessing a tough contest this time because both the major parties in the state's political arena have taken caste equations into account while picking their candidates.  Sidhi will vote on April 19 in the first phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections.  

The BJP has fielded its former district chief Rajesh Mishra, the Congress is banking on ex-minister Kamleswar Patel and the GGP has picked BJP rebel Ajay Pratap Singh. Mishra is a Brahmin and Patel is a Kurmi and both the castes have a substantial presence in the constituency. The BJP is banking on the good old Ram Mandir and Brahmin voters, who number around four lakh in the constituency.

The Congress is arguing that the area is lagging behind in development, youth are unemployed, prices have shot through the roof and so on. Sidhi constituency had come into existence in 1962. In the 16 Lok Sabha elections since then, the Congress and the BJP have won seven times each. The BJP registered its first victory from Sidhi in 1989. Janata Party was victorious from Sidhi in 1977. In 1996, Tilak Raj Singh, a nominee of the Congress (Tiwari) had emerged victorious from Sidhi, defeating both the Congress and the BJP candidates. Sidhi was the only seat Congress (T) could win from Madhya Pradesh.

Sidhi was a reserved constituency from 1962 to 2004 and was declared general in 2008. In all the three elections that followed, the BJP has been successful in ensuring the victory of its candidates. Govind Mishra was victorious in 2009 and Riti Pathak in 2014 and 2019. Riti is now an MLA from Sidhi. In the last (2019) general elections, the BJP candidate Riti Pathak had polled 6.98 lakh votes (54.44%) and Congress's Ajay Singh was backed by 4.11 lakh (32.11%) voterss. Of the eight assembly segments of the constituency, seven have returned BJP candidates in the last Vidhan Sabha election.

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