Poll results to decide the fate of Rahul Gandhi’s experiment

Indore: The May 16 result for the next Lok Sabha elections will decide the fate of “primaries”, a national-level experiment started by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in January this year.

During its internal elections under the ambitious programme called “primary”, the party had decided its candidates for Indore and Mandsaur Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh.

Through its internal elections called “primaries”, the Congress had selected former MLA Satyanarayan Patel (46) from the Indore seat, against senior BJP leader Sumitra Mahajan (71), making it his second consecutive contest from here.

BJP’s Mahajan had won this seat for the seventh consecutive time in 2009, defeating Patel by a margin of 11,480 votes.

Patel told PTI that he has tried to end the 25-year supremacy of the BJP in Indore and also tried his best to fulfill the commitment of party workers.

He said that he raised crucial issues among voters and now it was time for the people to announce their decision on May 16, which, he said, he would accept.

Despite political analysts forecasting that Mahajan may benefit from the “Modi wave” this time, Patel said that though the media had claimed a “Modi wave”, the prospects of any candidate from the Indore Lok Sabha seat would not influenced because of any particular personality.

Incidentally, Congress secretary and present MP from Mandasaur, Meenakshi Natarajan (40) was also selected as a candidate from this seat through the “primary” system.

Natarajan had defeated senior BJP leader and eight time Mandsaur MP, Laxminarayan Pandey, by a margin of 30,819 votes, in 2009.     This time she is in a contest against the BJP first timer, Sudhir Gupta (54) who is Mandsaur party president.

The Mandsaur seat has become most important for the Congress because Meenakshi was selected through the “primary” system, though experts estimate that the seat would also be impacted by the “Modi wave”.

It may be recalled that at an All India Congress Committee meeting in January, Rahul Gandhi had said that 15 Lok Sabha candidates would be decided by the party through the “primary” system.

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