Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Small players may upset the apple cart of the biggies in the Vindhya Pradesh region. BSP, SP and AAP may hurt both the big players; BJP and the Congress. The region was swept by the BJP in the last (2018) polls, with victory in 24 out of the 30 seats. While the BJP is battling anti-incumbency against many of its sitting MLAs, the Congress too is facing resentment from its rank and file.
The BSP is riding on the back of Congress and BJP dissenters in Satna, Rewa and Singrauli districts, fielding them as its candidates on many seats. In Chitrakoot constituency in Satna district, second-time sitting Congress MLA Neelanshu Chaturvedi and BJP candidate Surendra Gaharwar are facing BSP candidate Subhash Sharma ‘Dholi’ and Samajwadi Party candidate Sanjay Singh.
While the BSP candidate may dent the prospects of both BJP and Congress, the SP candidate may eat into the Congress votes. In Nagod, having been denied ticket by the Congress, former MLA Yadvendra Singh is contesting against sitting BJP MLA Nagendra Singh and first-time Congress candidate Dr Rashmi Singh Patel.
Though he is likely to eat into votes of both the candidates, possibility of denting the traditional Congress votes is greater, and this is making the young Congress candidate’s camp uneasy. In the largely urban Satna assembly seat, the four-time sitting BJP MP from Satna Lok Sabha constituency Ganesh Singh is the BJP candidate against sitting Congress MLA Siddharth Kushwah.
While both, the BJP and Congress candidates are from the OBC segment, the rebel BJP candidate Ratnakar Chaturvedi, who is contesting as BSP candidate, may hit the prospects of the BJP candidate most in the Brahmin caste-dominant seat. In the neighbouring Rewa district, the BSP and SP are a force to reckon with on at least four seats, while the AAP is likely to affect the poll outcome on at least one seat.
In Semariya constituency, the BSP’s Kurmi candidate Pankaj Singh Patel is sniffing a possible success in the event of the dominant Brahmin caste votes getting divided between sitting BJP MLA KP Tripathi and ex-BJP MLA and current Congress candidate Abhay Mishra.
In Teonthar seat, entry of rebel BJP candidate Devendra Singh as BSP candidate may hit the prospects of ruling party candidate and ex-Congress leader Siddharth Tiwari against Congress candidate Ramashankar Singh Patel, who had finished second in the previous two elections.
In Deotalab seat, the sitting MLA and BJP veteran, the Vidhan Sabha speaker Girish Gautam, who is facing nephew Padmesh Gautam as Congress candidate, may well see the SP candidate Jaiveer Singh Sengar take advantage of division of Brahmin votes between the uncle-nephew duo. In Gurh seat, the sitting MLA and ex-minister Nagendra Singh is facing a tough challenge from Congress’s Kapidhwaj Singh, while AAP’s young candidate Prakhar Singh is getting good response from first-time and young voters, making the contest slightly three-cornered. In the adjoining Sidhi district’s Churhat seat, the AAP candidate Rajan Mishra has made the contest between former minister and Congress candidate Ajay Singh ‘Rahul’ and sitting BJP MLA Shardendu Tiwari, three-cornered.
In Singrauli, rebel BJP candidate Chandrapratap Vishwarkarma, who is the BSP candidate has made the contest interesting against BJP, Congress and AAP candidates. The BSP is riding on the back of Congress and BJP rebels, who are adding to the BSP’s base vote and their voter base. It won’t be surprising if BSP surprises all, particularly in Chitrakoot, Satna and Sirmour seats.