Exposing chinks in BJP’s armour, Lok Sabha Speaker, local BJP MP Sumitra Mahajan and party’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who are famously known as Tai and Bhai respectively, have once again come face-to-face. The two got embroiled in tug-of-war over tickets for the seats in Indore district.
Their struggle to fetch tickets for their respective camps took centre stage in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh on Monday even as people spent the day checking WhatsApp posts, which were flooded with updates on the ongoing brawl between two senior leaders.
The party high command tried to strike a chord between the two but all efforts went in vain. It all started when the party was finalising first list of the party candidates for elections. In every election, leaders belonging to Mahajan camp would get tickets on Indore-1, Indore-3 and Indore-5 assembly seats whereas Vijayvargiya camp is allocated tickets for Indore-2, Rau and Mhow seats. In last assembly elections, Mahajan pushed to get ticket for Rajesh Sonkar from Sanver. Her wish was granted but then the party fielded RSS supported candidate Usha Thakur from Indore-3 assembly seat, which has been under her hold for long.
This time, Vijayvargiya reportedly staked claim on Indore-3 seat and offered to leave Mhow. He reportedly sought ticket for his foreign educated son, Akash Vijayvargiya, from Indore-2 constituency, his loyalist Ramesh Mendola from Indore-3 constituency and his another camp member for Rau seat. He reportedly told party that he was unwilling to contest election this time.
As Mahajan was abroad, the party did not take any decision on Indore seats and released list of 176 candidates on November 2. After Mahajan returned, she was told that Vijayvargiya wants Indore-3 seat and is ready to give up his constituency – the Mhow seat. Mahajan did not accept the offer. Vijayvargiya then offered to give up Rau seat but Mahajan denied the offer, which complicated equations in the district. Mahajan reportedly wants to keep Indore-3 for his son Mandar Mahajan. She wishes to field him from Indore-3, if not this time, then next time.
Mahajan’s comment sends ripples in BJP
Unhappy with Vijayvargiya’s claim on Indore-3 seat, Mahajan arrived in city on Monday morning. She forbid reporters from questions on ticket distribution as she had no information. Worried over her comment, BJP rushed Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar and state incharge Vinay Sahasrabuddhe to Indore in a chartered plane. Tai was categorical: Indore-3 seat should not go to Vijayvargiya’s camp. After meeting Tai, Tomar said final discussion on ticket distribution is over and list would be released shortly. Later in the evening, a meeting on ticket for Indore seats was held at CM’s house. Vijayvargiya was also present in the meeting.
Tai and Indore-2 assembly constituency’s MLA Ramesh Mendola met at a temple in Pardeshipura on Monday. A pujari offered prasad to Tai, which she gave to Mendola. This meeting between Mendola and Tai was talk of the town. According to people present there, Tai reportedly said that Mendola would contest from Indore-2 constituency only.