Indore: If one were to look at the drama that unfolded over ticket distribution in BJP on nine assembly constituencies, three factors emerge clearly. One, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan seems to be losing hold over local politics in the region she represented for record eight times as Indore MP.
Two, national BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya’s electoral skills are under test in assembly constituency three from where his son Akash Vijayvargiya is the contestant. “Kailash has not taken ticket but he is contesting from Indore -3 through his son. He has given a lollypop to his son but whether Akash will be able to digest it remains to be seen,” a BJP leader said.
Three, Kailash Vijayvargiya’s aide Ramesh Mendola who won last assembly elections with more than 90,000 votes from Indore-2 has emerged strongest as he managed to get ticket from the seat, which Vijayvargiya represented earlier and wanted for his son. Coming out from Vijayvargiya’s shadows, Mendola is his own man with bigger following than any other politician. However, all is not fine within BJP as many contestants face sabotage.
Sitting MLA Sudarshan Gupta who is contesting for third time fears sabotage from within BJP. A BJP faction, which aborted his bid to become state minister may help Congress candidate Sanjay Shukla whose father Vishnu Prasad Shukla helped saffron party to establish its base in Indore during its struggle days. But this is a seat where Brahmins and Yadavs oppose each other. Gupta who is neither a Brahmin nor a Yadav will benefit from it.
Indore-2, 3, 4
Though Indore-2 is a cakewalk for Ramesh Mendola, who is contesting for third time; what remains to be seen is whether he sets new victory record against first time Congress candidate Mohan Sengar. In Indore-3, fresher Akash’s opponent is three-time Congress MLA Ashwin Joshi. It is one of riskiest seats as both candidate fear saboteurs. This is the seat from where Kailash Vijayvargiya wanted to contest last time.
Mayor Malini Gaud fielded from Indore-4, which she currently represents, has put Indore in national limelight by making it as India’s cleanest city. Though her Congress opponent Surjit Singh will not be able to withstand the BJP onslaught, Malini faces sabotage from her opponents within the party.
Sitting BJP MLA Mahendra Hardia faces Congress candidate Satyanarayan Patel who is expected to throw all his might to win. Patel who represented this constituency earlier owns vast farm lands and is son of former Congress minister Rameshwar Patel. While Hardia fears anti-incumbency, Patel is used to facing electoral defeats. He lost assembly and Lok Sabha elections earlier.
BJP’s fiery leader Usha Thakur who was keen to contest from Indore-1, which she represented earlier, faces revolt and sabotage as an outsider though RSS will throw its weight behind her. The seat has considerable Rajput votes. Her Congress rival Antar Singh Darbar, also a Rajput, carries immense clout. Sitting BJP MLA Kailash Vijayvargiya despite all his might found it difficult to win it. Darbar who lost to Vijayvargiya with thin margin in last assembly elections dragged latter to court with charges of influencing votes.
Senior BJP leader Madhu Verma who is from Murai community has been pitched against Congress heavyweight Jitu Patwari who belongs to Khati community whose members form major chunk of voters. Verma faces a stiff challenge. Whether Verma converts his experience, support base into votes will be interesting to watch.
Sanver (SC seat)
Sitting BJP MLA Rajesh Sonkar who voters say has not been responsive in last five years faces tough fight against Congress candidate and three-time MLA Tulsi Silawat. Silwat has been in touch with electors and raised their problems repeatedly. This seat will see a proxy conflict between Sumitra Mahajan and Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia whose protégés are in fray.
Sitting BJP MLA Manoj Patel, considered close to union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, is contesting against Vishal Patel, a fresh, young face from Congress. Manoj Patel belongs to Dhakad community, Vishal is a Kalota. While both communities play a decisive role, people are looking for a change.
Loser & winner
In BJP’s ticket distribution, MP Sumitra Mahajan appears loser as few of her supports like Rajesh Sonkar, Sudarshan Gupta, Malini Gaud got tickets. Akash Vijayvargiya, Ramesh Mendola, Madhu Verma, Mahendra Hardia are Kailash Vijayvargiya’s supporters.