Though it had been waiting for BJP to declare its candidate, the Congress party gave up the wait and declared Pankaj Sanghvi as its candidate from Indore Lok Sabha seat on Tuesday. The party released a list of three candidates including two from Uttar Pradesh and Sanghvi from Indore. After almost seven general elections, the Congress party took lead in declaring party’s candidate. In earlier elections, BJP declared its candidate first from Indore Lok Sabha seat.

Sanghvi’s name figured on top in the list of probable candidates till party began to consider name of Congress MLA and sports minister Jitu Patwari as party’s face from Indore. However, Sanghvi won the race in the last minute as party put a bet on him again. As Patwari’s name was almost finalised, he started preparations for it.

However, party changed its opinion as it has set a criterion to avoid giving ticket to sitting MLA. This is because Congress MLAs hold a thin majority in the state and party doesn’t want to risk losing seat to keep state’s power in their hand. With declaring Sanghvi’s name, Congress has declared names from all 29 seats of Madhya Pradesh.

Patwari’s dream shattered
After discussion among senior leaders over Indore’s candidate on Monday morning, local Congressmen believed that Patwari will get Indore’s ticket. Patwari tweeted few sentences regarding his wish to develop Indore. This gave hint that he is sure to get ticket. Patwari’s supporter had started social media campaign in his support while he visited ‘gaushala’ on Tuesday to woo Hindu voters. During party’s internal survey, Patwari’s name figured on top but he didn’t fit the bill as he is sitting MLA.

Patwari, Lalwani offer prayers
Jitu Patwari and BJP’s probable candidate Shankar Lalwani offered prayers at Ranjeet Hanuman temple on Tuesday morning. Both leaders prayed to get party’s ticket and to win the election.

Sanghvi’s poll trail
Pankaj Sanghvi started political career as a BJP corporator in 1983. He won election but joined Congress after one year. Later, he contested Lok Sabha election against Sumitra Mahajan in 1998 but lost by 49,852 votes. Party fielded him in mayoral election in 2009 against Krishnamurari Moghe but he lost by over 3000 votes.  Sanghvi contested last election in 2013 as Congress candidate from assembly constituency number 5 against Mahendra Hardia but lost by 12,500 votes.