MP Assembly Elections 2018: Here, upper castes still call the shots

This is the only seat in the district which will be keenly watched by one and all. It is purely and urban seat. Its track record suggests that Brahmin and Jain (upper caste) candidates got more success as compared to others. Woman and Muslim candidates also fought from here, but only once each. Nirukt Bhargava scans the scene.  (niruktbhargava@gmail.com)

Highest 14 elections held
This is the only seat in the district on which elections have been held for 14 times, otherwise maximum 13 elections are held on other seats so far. This situation occurred as byelection was conducted on it in 1969. In 1967 election, Jan Sangh’s Mahadev Joshi defeated Congress’ Hansaben Patel who filed a petition challenging his election on the pretext that the former was a professor in Government Madhav College. Joshi’s election was declared null and void and in the bye-election conducted in 1969 Joshi again defeated Hansaben.

PC Sethi became CM, But switched over to Indore

MP Assembly Elections 2018: Here, upper castes still call the shots

Most interestingly, Ujjain North seat had given the Chief Minister to (undivided) Madhya Pradesh in 1972 as Congress’ Prakash Chandra Sethi won from here. He had defeated Babulal Jain of Bharatiya Jan Sangh and became CM for about two-and-a-half years. He was then called to Delhi and was engaged in national politics.

On the behest of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Sethi was switched over to Indore and fought parliamentary election from there and became Union home minister and also worked on other coveted portfolios. After going to Delhi, Sethi never returned to Ujjain again.

Later, his entire family was shifted to Indore and presently their ancestral home ‘Sethi Building’ located near Tower Chowk has been converted into a commercial complex. Babulal Jain was re-fielded in 1977 but as Janata Party candidate and he defeated Congress’ Rajendra Kumar Jain and became cabinet minister.

MP Assembly Elections 2018: Here, upper castes still call the shots

About 50% voters are below the age of 39 years

2, 17, 439 persons are enrolled in the electoral rolls of Ujjain North constituency which include 1, 10, 417 male and 1, 07, 010 female voters. The third gender voters are also enrolled in the list. About 50 per cent of the electorates belong to below 39 year age group. 5,071 of them belong to the age group between 18 and 19 years (new voters). Likewise, 49,815 of them belong to the age group 20 and 29 years while number of voters belonging to age group between 30 and 39 years is 56,320. Number of voters who belong to age group of 80 or more is 3,678.

MP Assembly Elections 2018: Here, upper castes still call the shots

Paras Jain created history
But after the 1985 election, the BJP clearly swept this seat and barring 1998 election party’s Paras Jain (presently energy minister) registered victory in every election held in 1990, 1993, 2003, 2008 and 2013. In 1998 election, Jain tasted defeat against Congress’ Rajendra Bharti. Paras Jain, however, defeated Rajendra Jain, Batuk Shankar Joshi, Rajendra Bharti, Batuk Shankar Joshi and Vivek Yadav during 1990, 1993, 2003, 2008 and 2013 election, respectively. Paras Jain is the only person in the district who fought six elections in succession from the same seat. For the 2018 elections, both parties have so far not declared their candidates.

Qureshi won, But became judge
One more interesting fact associated with this constituency is that only one Muslim person represented it. Congress’ Abdul Gayur Qureshi got this honour in 1962 when he defeated Independent candidate Rajendra Kumar Jain. Later, Qureshi quit politics and joined judicial services and also became a High Court judge. After retirement from judicial services, the Congress leadership made him Rajya Sabha member.

Rajendra Jain tasted success in the 1980 election as a Congress candidate after defeating BJP’s Radhe Shyam Upadhyay and became minister in the Arjun Singh’s cabinet. Barring 1967, 1969 (byelection) and 1977 elections, the Congress party always emerged victorious in the rest 5 elections conducted between 1957 and 1985. Party nominees Kunwar Kishori Rajdan, Abdul Gayur Qureshi, Prakash Chandra Sethi, Rajendra Jain and Batuk Shankar Joshi represented the constituency during 1957, 1962, 1972, 1980 and 1985 elections, respectively. Joshi had defeated BJP’s Prakash Bohra in 1985 election.

ELECTORATE AGENDA

MP Assembly Elections 2018: Here, upper castes still call the shots

“The atrocities against women are continuing unabated. I feel unsafe while walking on the streets. The new government should devise a mechanism to ensure that crime against is tackled sternly.”—
Gayatri Lodhi, engineering student

MP Assembly Elections 2018: Here, upper castes still call the shots

“I shuttle between office and home daily and I find myself stuck in rush all the time. Sounding bugle of dissent through demonstrations, sit-ins, rallies have become fashion now-a-days which causes snarls on roads. The elected government must take measures to ease the traffic.”—
Arjun Vaghela, private employee

MP Assembly Elections 2018: Here, upper castes still call the shots

“Exorbitant prices of fuel have become a matter of concern. It is lingering around the 90-Rs mark and a year back, it was around Rs 75/per litre. Government should review the tariff and make amends to bring some respite to commoners.”—
Pooja Chouhan, working woman

MP Assembly Elections 2018: Here, upper castes still call the shots

“I will be completing my graduation next year and would aspire for a top-notch MNC job. The atmosphere is so gloomy as my seniors are jobless even after securing high percentages. Unemployment has become a part of rhetoric of politicians only during pre-poll days. After the elections, this issue takes a back seat.”—
Deepak Chawda, student (first time voter)

MP Assembly Elections 2018: Here, upper castes still call the shots

“The government is building infrastructure rapidly but on the other hand due to smooth roads, people are stepping on gas and putting their and others lives in dangers. Casualties in road rage and even more than in terror attacks. Government must take measures to check rash driving, speeding incidents.”—
Nandini Narwariya, student (first time voter)

MP Assembly Elections 2018: Here, upper castes still call the shots

“Government efforts to provide housing for all, is laudable and this a step in the right direction, however, there are many impoverished people still without a roof over their heads. Government must expeditiously pursue its plans to provide shelter to homeless people.”—
Hardik Raikwar

MP Assembly Elections 2018: Here, upper castes still call the shots

 “Our PM Narendra Modi’s cleanliness drive is a very revolutionary one as far as India is concerned. Our city Ujjain managed to break into top 20 cities, however, sense of cleanliness is still largely missing in city dwellers as they continue to litter surroundings and throw garbage. Not only this, open defecation is still continuing unabated.”— Lokesh Solanki

MP Assembly Elections 2018: Here, upper castes still call the shots

“Bus services between Indore and Dewas route should resume again from Dewasgate bus stand. People living in old city area finding it really difficult to commute all the way from Dewasgate bus stand to Nanakheda to catch a bus.”— Abhishek Tatawat, student

MP Assembly Elections 2018: Here, upper castes still call the shots

 “Unemployment has raised manifold. Even the so called educated lot is not at all skilled. Educated but unskilled students are roaming everywhere jobless. Government must frame a policy to produce skilled manpower.”— Tarun Chouhan, student

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