Maheshwar Constituency Watch: People Yearning For More Effective Governance System

Maheshwar Constituency Watch: People Yearning For More Effective Governance System

Will Meo prove a hurdle in Dr Sadho’s track?

FP News ServiceUpdated: Saturday, November 11, 2023, 09:35 PM IST
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Maheshwar/Mandleshwar (Madhya Pradesh): Maheshwar-Mandleshwar assembly constituency is one of the six assembly constituencies in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh. With its rich cultural and historic past, the constituency earns more cultural and natural identity than politics.

The constituency is known for its famous Maheshwar Fort, which stands as a testament to the region's architectural brilliance. Additionally, the constituency is blessed with scenic beauty, as it is situated on the banks of the holy Narmada River, attracting tourists and pilgrims alike.

Currently, this seat is occupied by Congress leaders of the Sadho family, but the BJP has never allowed Congress to score a hat-trick. This time, the BJP declared its candidate Rajkumar Mev much earlier, whereas Congress pitted its sitting MLA and former Cabinet minister, Dr Vijayalakshmi Sadho.

The competition between the BJP and Congress in this constituency has always been intense, with both parties leaving no stone unturned to secure victory. Dr Sadho, being an experienced politician, will undoubtedly put up a tough fight to retain her position.

Caste equation

Most of the voters in Maheshwar-Mandleshwar are from Scheduled Castes. Apart from this, there is a large number of voters from Patidar, Vaishya, Brahmin, Gurjar and Meena communities. The total voters in this seat are 2,20,739, including 1,11,439 male and 1,09,299 female voters, while one is other.

In the year 2018, Dr Sadho won by a margin of 35,836 votes, thanks to Rajkumar Mev who contested as an independent candidate and broadened the gap between Congress and BJP candidates, pushing then-BJP candidate Bhupendra Arya to third place with Mev garnering 47,251 votes.

Taking a cue from the previous upset, the BJP gave a ticket to Rajkumar Mev this time. Notably, Mev had won the 2013 elections but was not given the ticket in 2018. He then rebelled against the party and contested the elections as an independent.

After this, the BJP expelled him, but in 2020, he again joined the BJP and now the BJP has given him the ticket. Many believed that if the BJP denied him a ticket again, he could play spoilsport.

Voters Scenario in 2023

Total Voters: 2,20,739

Male Voters: 1,11,439

Female Voters: 1,09,299

Other Voters: 01

Voting Scenario in 2018

Total Voting: 81.28%

Dr Vijayalaxmi Sadho (Cong): 83,087 (49.05%)

Rajkumar Mev (Ind): 47,251 (27.89%)

Victory Margin: 35,836

Dr Sadho continues father’s legacy

Dr Vijaylaxmi Sadho took over her father Seetaram Sadho's inheritance and continued his legacy as a renowned social activist and politician. With her strong determination and passion for serving the people, she quickly made a name for herself in the political arena, working tirelessly to uplift marginalised communities and bring about positive change in society.

In 1985, Congress nominated her as its candidate and she defeated BJP candidate Madanlal Verma by 5,146 votes. In 1990, Congress again pitted her, but this time she faced defeat. Three years later, Dr Sadho again got an opportunity to contest on a Congress ticket and this time, she defeated BJPs’ Jagdish Rokade by 5,878 votes. In 1998, Dr Sadho defeated Rokade again by just 227 votes.

In 2003, before Dr Sadho could complete her hat-trick of victory, then BJP candidate Bhupendra Arya defeated her by 8,348 votes.

Maheshwar-Mandleshwar gets nothing in last two decades

During the last two decades, the BJP has ruled for 19 years and Congress for one year. Both BJP and Congress candidates won twice, but the area did not get what it was supposed to get. If this is not enough, many government departments have been shifted to some other places.

The continuous rotation of power between BJP and Congress without significant progress has left the local people disillusioned and yearning for a more effective governance system.

Many announcements were made but no implementation was done. Even the citizens did not get anything in the name of compensation for the damage caused by the heavy rains that occurred last month.

Talking about the problems of the region, Maheshwar is lagging in many dimensions like regional development, employment, health, and education.

From 1993 to 2003, Dr Vijayalakshmi Sadho was the cabinet minister in the state government, but the area did not gain any special achievements except the Nimar Utsav. Even after more than 25 years since the Nimar Utsav started, this state-level event remained vibrant only during the Congress rule.

Many announcements still on paper

Previous Congress and BJP governments made many announcements regarding education, health, or employment for the development of the Maheshwar constituency, but those announcements remained only on paper. The lack of concrete steps taken to fulfil these promises led to a growing sense of frustration among the residents of Maheshwar. As a result, they began to question the sincerity and commitment of both the Congress and BJP governments towards their welfare.

Some of the major issues that will remain in the spotlight during the elections include the demand for medical colleges, the Maheshwar Hydroelectric Project worth thousands of crores hanging in the balance, the unemployment problem of the area, the connectivity of Maheshwar to other major tourist spots in the state, the demand to make Maheshwar a district, the basic problems of farmers, the plan regarding natural disaster control, the ban on the sale of all banned items in the holy twin village of Maheshwar-Mandaleshwar, and the Maheshwar-Mandaleshwar Sewerage Treatment Plot under construction.

Candidates’ Take

Congress candidate and sitting MLA Dr Vijaylaxmi Sadho said that medical college is her priority. Maheshwar Hydropower Project will be done with complete rehabilitation as a top priority; both of these are included in Kamal Nath's promise letter.

To deal with the unemployment problem, industries will be opened in various places; this is also declared in the promise letter. “I will endeavour to set up more industries in my assembly.”

“I will do the work of beautification by providing maximum facilities on the Narmada Path on the banks of the River so that the region gets a name in the field of tourism on the world map.”

Dr Sadho added that if Congress comes into power, all the problems of the farmers will be solved. In the future, rules will be made for disaster control. Farmers and citizens will get direct benefits in the event of any natural disaster. Regarding the sewerage treatment plant, it will be completed soon, she added.

BJP candidate and two-time MLA Rajkumar Mev wanted clarification on whether the government had relocated the proposed medical college from Maheshwar or if it was a result of MLA's commission.

Maheshwar hydropower project will be completed first. To remove unemployment, an industrial area has been created in the village of Matmur and employment will be created by setting up new industries there.

In the field of tourism, Ahalya Lok is being built in Maheshwar, Mandleshwar, and the village Choli connected to Maheshwar will also be developed. Maheshwar will be made a district under the BJP government; it is also mentioned in my manifesto. Last time, farmers were given proper compensation for chilli. Farmers are happy with the present BJP government.

Some points have been identified regarding natural disasters, and we will work on them. Due to the apathy of the local administration, the rules of the holy cities are not implemented and will be fixed.

The construction of the sewerage treatment plant will be completed at a rapid pace. The scheme for Kendriya Vidyalaya is pending; it will be completed soon, he said.

(With inputs from Chaitanya Patwari)

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