Indore/ Khandwa: With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announcing sitting MP and former state president Nandkumar Singh Chouhan candidacy, his supporters from all across eight assembly seats spread in Khandwa, Burhanpur, Khargone and part of Dewas erupted with joy. However, this time it won’t be that easy for Chouhan who has been elected to Parliament five times from here as he is on a slippery ground, particularly after recently held Assembly polls in the state.
Assembly poll results favour Congress
The recent Assembly poll results indicate that all is not well for BJP in the constituency that was seen as its stronghold. Of the eight Assembly constituencies that fall in this Lok Sabha seat, BJP won just three including Bagli, Khandwa and Pandhana compared to seven in 2013 assembly polls, while Congress has won four and one seat went to the Independent who now supports Congress government.
Major setback for BJP and Chouhan came from his own home town Burhanpur where party’s seasoned leader and minister in Shivraj Chouhan’s cabinet, Archana Chitnis, lost to Thakur Surendra Singh ‘Shera’ who had fought as an Independent. Burhanpur is not only one of the major constituencies among two major towns of this parliamentary seat, but has highest number of voters.
Faction among party leaders
Chouhan’s candidature from Khandwa Lok Sabha seat may upset former cabinet minister Archana Chitnis supporters who are demanding party ticket for their leaders. Chitnis who lost Assembly poll, and whose group feels that it was sabotage, wants the ticket too. There is lot of resentment against Chouhan’s style of functioning too. The loss to BJP in Assembly poll has forced the party leadership to focus on the situation here.
Lack of industries, power looms hinder development
Burhanpur, which is termed as the Gateway to Deccan, is an important town in the region. However, citizens are upset due to lack of development. Innumerable power looms—the town was known for them, have shut down. Apart from that, the area known for banana cultivation and lack of food processing units is forcing farmers to take their harvest to other places for processing. No new industries have come up, umpteen factories and mills have closed, unemployment is a major problem, the sound of power looms that was part of life here are silent in the towns now.