Indore: BJP put Indore candidate on hold as protests erupt against Shankar Lalwani

Indore: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had to put on hold announcement of its candidate for Indore Lok Sabha seat on Wednesday as protests within the party erupted against probable candidate Shankar Lalwani.  According to sources, BJP central election committee had finalised Indore Development Authority (IDA) chairman Lalwani for Indore seat and announcement of his name was to be made along with candidates for Bhopal, Vidisha, Sagar and Guna but Lalwani’s name was dropped by evening.

The party released list of candidates from Bhopal, Vidisha, Sagar and Guna but not for Indore.  The reason behind shelving decision on Indore seat was stated to be protests against Lalwani’s candidature from Indore.  Members of both Sumitra Mahajan and Kailash Vijyavargiya camps opposed his name saying he is not a winnable candidate.  While supporters of Mahajan gathered at her house to express their displeasure over Lalwani’s name, Vijayvargiya camp conveyed to the party that only their leader’s win from Indore seat is 100 per cent and that they won’t support Lalwani.

Some BJP workers even took to social media claiming that Lalwani is not a weak candidate for Indore seat, which has been bastion of BJP for last three decades. This seat has been held by Mahajan since 1989. When she crossed the age of 75 (maximum age limit set by BJP to filed candidate), Mahajan reportedly pushed for Lalwani’s candidature. Sindhi community also rallied behind Lalwani after which he became BJP’s first choice for Indore seat.  Though Mahajan pushed his name, her supporters did not like Lalwani as they believe he is not a winning candidate. So, they also protested against his name.

Congress sees scope for wresting Indore
Congress, all of sudden, on Wednesday saw scope to wrest Indore seat from saffron party after Vijyavargiya announced that he would not contest Lok Sabha elections.  Congress believes that Mahajan and Vijayvargiya were the only two leaders, which could have ensured BJP win from Indore again. But as both of them opted out, Congress sees scope to win this seat after a gap of 29 years. “Now, our candidate Pankaj Sanghvi can defeat any BJP leader from Indore seat,” a Congress functionary said.

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