Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Throwing up a major surprise, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the state fielded its heavyweight Kailash Vijayvargiya from Indore-I constituency thereby upsetting political equations on all nine seats in the district.
The senior BJP leader and a five-time MLA, who remains undefeated so far, has contested elections from three different assembly constituencies before being fielded from the fourth one this time.
He first contested elections from Indore-4 constituency in 1990 and wrested the seat from Congress. He then won from Indore-2 constituency in 1993, 1998 and 2003. The saffron party moved him to Mhow in the 2008 elections and he wrested the seat from the Congress. He was again given a ticket from the Mhow seat in 2013 even though he had expressed his desire to quit electoral politics to make way for his son Akash Vijayvarigya. The party did not grant his wish that year and Vijayvargiya won the Mhow seat for the second consecutive time in 2013. In 2018, the party fielded his son from Indore-3 constituency as he moved to national politics.
Without a doubt, Vijayvargiya is the most popular leader of the saffron party, at least in the Indore division, if not in the entire Malwa-Nimar region. The tally of the saffron party, which had won 28 out of 37 seats in Indore division in 2013, had come down to 11 seats in 2018 when Vijayvargiya moved to national politics.
BJP’s defeat in Indore division was unexpected and one of the reasons why the Congress was able to form a government. That Vijayvargiya would be brought back to electoral politics once again in the state was evident, but very few thought that he would be fielded from Indore-1.
Setback for Gutpa, jolt to Shukla
The ticket to Vijayvargiya from Indore-I has come as a major jolt for Sudarshan Gupta, a two-time MLA from this constituency. The latter had lost to Congress candidate Sanjay Shukla in 2018. Gupta was expecting ticket from Indore-I constituency once again. Culture minister Usha Thakur, who is currently MLA from Mhow constituency and was MLA from Indore-I seat also, was seeking a ticket from Indore-I seat this time. Ticket to Vijayvargiya is seen as a big blow to both of them. The ticket has also come as a major jolt to Congress MLA Shukla as he knows the stature of Vijayvargiya and his record of remaining undefeated.
Breather to Mendola
It was believed that Vijayvargiya would stake his claim on Indore-2 seat if party wished to field him in assembly elections. Vijayvargiya’s protégé Ramesh Mendola is a three-time MLA from this seat but he would have had to pave way for the senior leader from this BJP stronghold. It was believed that Mendola would either be fielded from Indore-3 or Indore-5 if Vijayvargiya had his way.
Akash Vijayvargiya not to get ticket!
Now that Kailash Vijayvargiya has got ticket from Indore-I seat, his son is unlikely to be fielded from Indore-3 seat of which he is a sitting MLA. The BJP won’t promote dynasty politics by giving tickets to father–son duo. With this change in equation, the party may either field Usha Thakur, who represented this seat from 2013 to 2018, or give the ticket to BJP city chief Gaurav Ranadive. Names of Gopi Nema, Govind Malu, and Krishnamurari Moghe could also be considered.
Vijayvargiya factor may work in Indore-4, Sanwer, Depalpur
Though Vijayvarigya is going to contest polls from Indore-I seat, his presence will impact the poll results in Sanwer, Indore-4 and Depalpur as well as these constituencies are adjacent to Indore-I seat. His contesting polls will also prove a boon to Madhu Verma who is contesting polls from Rau as his rival in the party, Jitu Jirati, will now have to remain active in Indore-I instead of playing spoilsport to Verma.
Vijayvargiya to have say in who gets ticket in Indore-5, Mhow
Vijayvargiya would have a crucial role in deciding candidates for Indore-5 and Mhow seats. Till the last polls, former Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan used to approve the name of candidate from Indore-5 after considering the CM’s view. This year, Vijayvargiya will be the deciding factor. Similarly, Vijayvargiya is likely to put his weight behind RSS choice from Mhow constituency - Dr Nishant Khare. It would be interesting to see from where three-time MLA Usha Thakur is fielded.