Indore (Madhya Pradesh): With the mayor's seat in Indore being declared unreserved, names of possible BJP candidates are doing the rounds even as Congress is likely to field Indore-1 MLA Sanjay Shukla as its mayoral candidate.
Young leaders are upbeat after the saffron party finalised name of Kavita Patidar for Rajya Sabha polls.
They are hopeful that the party would field a fresh face instead of a sitting MLA or former MLA. BJP city chief Gaurav Ranadive, former corporator Deepak Tinu Jain and Golu Shukla are stated to be among the front runners. Their hopes were also riding on a senior leader's announcement that the party won't field asitting MLA or former MLA for mayoral polls.
Names of two non-political faces viz Dr Nishant Khare and Pushyamitra Bhargav, who is currently additional advocate general, are also amongst the front runners for mayoral ticket.
If BJP does not spring a surprise and banks on a winnable candidate then Indore-2 MLA Ramesh Mendola, former MLA Sudarshan Gupta and former Mayor Malini Gaud hold a good chance of clinching the ticket.
In case of Congress party, Indore-I MLA Sanjay Shukla has a strong chance of getting the ticket as his name was declared in 2020 for the mayoral polls. However, the election did not take place that year.
If Congress did not consider Shukla’s name then Rau MLA Jitu Patwari could become a natural choice of the opposition party.
Gaurav Ranadive: Ranadive climbed up the political ladder very fast and became the youngest president of BJP in Indore. He is a firebrand, spontaneous and a youth icon. Under his presidency, the party's local unit grew from strength to strength. He is close to BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Pushyamitra Bhargav: Bhargav has made a big name for himself in the advocates’ fraternity within a short period of time. He would represent BJP leaders in most of the legal cases in High Court so he was made additional advocate general when Chouhan became CM in 2020. Like Ranadive, he is a firebrand leader and a youth icon.
Dr Nishant Khare rose to fame during Covid-19 crisis for helping out the district administration and IMC in their battle against the pandemic. At present, he is involved in most of the activities of district administration, health department and IMC. He is close to RSS.
Deepak Tinu Jain: Jain was the youngest to be elected as corporator in last IMC elections. He comes from a strong Sangh background. He is close to BJP state president VD Sharma.
Golu Shukla: Shukla can be a surprise candidate. He has come close to both VB Sharma and Shivraj Singh Chouhan in last two years. He also enjoys support of Vijayvarigya’s camp.
Ramesh Mendola: Three-time MLA Mendola has a track record of wining assembly elections with record margins. He holds a good rapport among the youth and is known for his skillful election management. It was because of this reason that he was made coordinator of Sanwer by-election where BJP candidate Tulsi Silawat won by a record margin. The demand to reward him grew in the party circle after his performance in Sanwer. Sources stated that he would either be given place in Cabinet or ticket to contest mayoral election.
Sudarshan Gupta: If Mendola is given place in the Cabinet, there is a high chance that Sudarshan Gupta, a former MLA, be considered for the mayoral ticket. He is said to be close to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan as well as former LoK Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. He has also come close to Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
Malini Gaud: Indore got national recognition for being the cleanest city in the country four times in a row under Gaud’s mayorship. Close to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Gaud is considered to be second most powerful woman candidate after Mahajan in Indore. Her name was also under consideration for Lok Sabha ticket.