Kukshi (Madhya Pradesh): In the wake of recent assembly elections, Honey Baghel from the Kukshi constituency stands out as a strong contender for the Leader of the Opposition in the assembly.
Despite the BJP's widespread victory in the state with Ladli Behna masterstroke, Baghel secured a substantial win in Kukshi, clinching the highest number of votes among all Congress candidates statewide.
His consecutive victories in 2013, 2018, and 2023 elections with sizable margins (43,000, 63,000, and 50,000 votes respectively) underscore his stronghold in the region.
Moreover, his familial political legacy, with his father Pratap Singh Baghel being a multiple-term elected representative and cabinet minister and Baghel himself serving as a cabinet minister in the Kamal Nath government for 15 months, strengthens his claim to leadership.
The significance of tribal areas in the election landscape cannot be ignored. While the BJP secured a resounding victory overall, Congress' success in tribal regions against the prevailing anti-Congress sentiment highlights the potential for tribal leadership representation.
Honey Baghel's triumph with the highest votes in a tribal region strengthens his candidacy for the opposition's leadership role.
Baghel's tribal leadership and the support garnered suggest he could effectively mobilise tribal votes for Congress in future elections.