BHOPAL : The three-month long battle between the BJP and the Congress, settled with the polling taking place on Mungawali and Kolaras seats. These by-polls, which have become prestige point for chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, are taken as semi-finals of power politics.
These by-polls have turned out to be a contest between Chouhan and Scindia, rather than a fight between the BJP and the Congress. Both the leaders have used their clout in these by-polls. The state cabinet, leaving all works aside for the past fifteen days, was involved in campaigning in the by-polls. The state had witnessed several such by-polls in the past when political temperature had risen high.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan, after becoming chief minister in 2005, contested from Budhni in 2006. Congress had fielded former minister Rajkumar Patel in these by-polls. The Election Commission, on the complaint of Congress about violation of code of conduct, had extended the polling date. Chouhan did ‘Padyatra’ in whole Budhni constituency and won the by-polls by a margin of more than 36,000 votes.
Bada Malhara by-polls
These by-polls took place after former chief minister Uma Bharati quitting BJP in 2006 and resigning from its membership. These by-polls were a prestige point for BJP against Uma’s party named Bhartiya Janshakti Party. BJP had fielded Kapurchand Ghuvara, who earlier was a leftist against Rekha Yadav of Bharatiya Janshakti Party. These by-polls witnessed violence but BJP’s Ghuwara managed to won the seat by a margin of around 5000 votes.
Arjun Singh, after assuming the charge of chief minister in 1988, contested from Kharsia of Rajgarh district, considering it to be a stronghold of Congress party. The BJP fielded influential leader Dilip Singh Judeo from this seat. Singh had to work hard to win these by-polls. It is said that the whole government had left its routine work and was doing campaigning for its party candidate. Singh had won these by-polls by a margin of 7000 votes.
Kamalnath got by-polls for Chhindwara Loksabha in 1997 by getting his wife resigned. BJP had fielded former chief minister Sunderlal Patwa against Kamal Nath in these by-polls. It was the first election when Kamal Nath lost any election in his political career. These by-polls had witnessed both the parties devoting its all energies but finally Patwa won by a margin of more than 37,000 votes.
These by-polls were held in April 2008 on Betul Loksabha constituency with the passing away of Vijay Khandelwal. BJP was continuously losing by-polls prior to Assembly elections of 2008. BJP had fielded Hemant Khandelwal while Congress had launched Sukhdev Panse as their candidates. The by-poll turned more into a contest between Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Kamal Nath then between the two candidates. BJP had won these by-polls by a margin of more than 35,000 votes. The win in these by-polls also helped BJP in developing a conducive environment for it for further victories in Assembly polls.