Indore: After much brain-storming, finally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday declared former Indore Development Authority (IDA) chairman Shankar Lalwani as its candidate for Indore Lok Sabha seat.  His contest will be with Congress candidate Pankaj Sanghvi.  Sources in the party stated that former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan played key role in ensuring ticket to Lalwani, who is the tallest leader of the Sindhi community in state after death of Ishwardas Rohani. BJP, which had declared its candidates on 28 out of 29 parliamentary seats in Madhya Pradesh, had a hard time in finalising name for Indore.

After Lok Sabha Speaker and eight-time MP Sumitra Mahajan (affectionately called Tai) became ineligible (as per the BJP policy) to contest election as she crossed 75 years and party general secretary Kailash Vijyavargiya (famously known as Bhai) busy in West Bengal, the BJP could not find a suitable candidate for Indore on whom consensus could be reached. Contd. on P10 Both, the Tai and Bhai camps pushed their respective members but party listened to Chouhan who recommended name of Lalwani.

Sources said that the party had finalised Lalwani’s name and was to announce the same on April 17 along with candidates for Bhopal, Sagar, Vidisha and Guna seats. But when the Tai and Bhai camps came to know about this they protested on Lalwani’s name and the announcement for Indore was stopped.  However, Chouhan solidly stood behind Lalwani and party in the end went by his recommendation.

Perhaps, he is the only Sindhi candidate fielded by BJP in Lok Sabha elections-2019 in the country.  Lalwani’s political career Lalwani was a three-time corporator. He was first elected in 1994. Second time when he was elected in 1999 he was made member in Mayor in Council. He was re-elected as corporator in 2004 and became IMC chairman. He is also former BJP city president and two time chairman of the IDA. He is State president of MP Sindhi Council and also president of Lok Sanskrti Manch (Indore). Malwa Utsav is his brain child.