Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh): A triangular contest is in the offing with main fight will take place between BJP candidate Mathuralal Damar, Congress candidate Laxman Singh Dindor and rebel Congress (independent) candidate Dr Abhay Ohari in the Ratlam Rural assembly constituency (ST).
This time the voters will choose their representative mainly on the local issues. Campaigning gained momentum with candidates undertaking poll activities at every village level. Ratlam Rural seat was carved in the year 1977 and since then Congress has won six times and BJP four times. BJP has denied ticket to the sitting MLA Dilip Makwana and instead gave ticket to ex-MLA Mathuralal Damar. There were many claimants for the Congress ticket but Laxman Singh Dondiyar succeeded in getting it but candidature of Dr Abhay Ohari as independent has made Dodiyar's fight more difficult. JAYS has got strong presence in the Ratlam Rural assembly seat’s many areas and independent candidate Dr Abhay Ohari is patron of JAYS and also made attempts to get Congress ticket.
There were many agitations during last five years period by JAYS in the assembly area. BJP under its strategy not only denied ticket to sitting MLA Dilip Makwana but also appeared to be enthusiastic due to possibility of division of votes in Congress due to candidature of Dr Ohari as independent. BJP also believes that the election meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 4 will prove beneficial for the BJP in the seat. There has been close fight between Congress and BJP in this constituency from 2003 assembly elections to 2018 assembly elections.
RATLAM RURAL CONSTITUENCY VOTERS
TOTAL VOTERS 2,13,753
MALE VOTERS 1,06,954
FEMALE VOTERS 1,06,786
2018 ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS RESULTS
DILIP MAKWANA (BJP) 79,806 votes (49.30%)
THAWAR BHURIA (CONGRESS) 74,201 (45.83%)
TOTAL VOTING IN PERCENTAGE 85.1%
MAIN ISSUES OF RATLAM RURAL CONSTITUENCY
Being a rural constituency, issues are also based on the rural areas’ aspirations and needs. Farmers and rural economy-based voters are going to decide the fate of this constituency. A large number of electorate still feel that the basic needs are good roads, availability of water, regular supply of electricity, good price for crops, employment, control of rising prices, tackling villages level problems, solution for migration in search of employment to adjoining state Gujarat, housing and school needs.
Industrial Zone coming up in the rural assembly seat has also become part of the poll issue as JAYS and Congress have opposed the industrial zone because it will be against the rural people’s interest but BJP said that it will generate employment. The Bhagwan Ram Temple in Ayodhya is welcomed by people but this is not going to dominate the local issues in deciding the fate of constituency.
INDUSTRIAL INVESTMENT ZONE ISSUE
Industrial investment zone coming up in Ratlam Rural is going to be one of the major issues. JAYS and Congress had been raising the issue against the industrial investment zone coming up near Bibrod in the constituency area on the ground that the land of the farmers should not be acquired. During last two years period number of demonstrations were also held and even gherao of MP Guman Singh Damor and others also took place. BJP said that investment zone will benefit the local people in getting employment and it claimed that it is an advantage for the party poll prospects.
CANDIDATURE OF DR ABHAY OHARI
Congress leaders here made their all attempts to withdraw the nomination papers by Dr Abhay Ohari but could not succeed. Sources said that Congress senior leaders Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh also tried to pursue Dr Ohari but could not succeed.
On the contrary, Dr Ohari said that in 2019 when he joined Congress he was promised by senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh to allot him Ratlam Rural ticket in 2023 elections.
PAST FIVE YEARS WORKS ALSO TEST FOR BJP
The issue which the rival candidates of BJP are raising is the ineffective functioning of the sitting BJP MLA Dilip Makwana as according to allegations Makwana could not fulfil many of his promises made during the last elections. Farmers of assembly area are by and large not satisfied with the performance of the BJP MLA in last five years period. Probably this has led the BJP to change its candidate. BJP is now seeing silver lining in the division of Congress votes for its retaining the seat.
FARMERS VS BUREAUCRATS
BJP fielded Mathuralal Damar the former MLA from this seat who is a farmer and wearing the traditional dress of Dhoti and Kurta. Congress candidate Laxman Singh Dindor has left the government services to join the politics from the post of Janpad CEO and succeeded in getting Congress ticket. Dr Abhay Ohari is a medical practitioner and served in the government hospital. Both Dindor and Ohari have got association with JAYS.
WHAT CANDIDATES SAY
MATHURALAL DAMAR (BJP) appeared to be confident of his victory as he claimed that he remained in touch with the constituency people since 2008 assembly elections when he was first time elected as MLA and even when he was defeated in 2013 he remained in contact with people to solve their problems. Damar said that Ratlam Rural seat area is based on agriculture. His priority will be to make available electricity, water and roads to the satisfaction of the farmers. Damar said that he will work with full sincerity to fulfil the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make villages prosper by taking number of steps. He said that he would ensure that in the new industrial zone, local people get the maximum employment.
LAXMAN SINGH DINDOR (Congress candidate) said that development will be his priority for the constituency which BJP could not do. He said that progressive farming will be one of his priority areas. Dindor said that BJP always gave false promises and his constituency people have seen in last five years period. He said that Congress elections manifesto fully serves the aspirations of the rural people and farmers. He said that Congress promises will be fulfilled like loan waiver, electricity exemption, employment, construction of Gaushalas and many others. He said that ‘Ghoda Roj’ (Neel Gay) problem is serious problem for the farmers and it has been included in the Congress manifesto.
DR ABHAY OHARI (Independent candidate) lashed out at the BJP and alleged that it has not done any important development work in last five years period. He alleged that most of the promises made by the BJP in the last assembly elections remained unfulfilled. He said that people of the constituency are facing lack of water, good roads and good prices for their crops. He said that JAYS launched agitation to oppose the industrial zone as according to him it is against the interest of the local people due to number of reasons. About Congress candidate Laxman Singh Dindor, he said that Congress candidate has never been in touch with constituency people. Ohari claimed that his fight is against the BJP candidate and Congress candidate Dindor is lagging due to number of reasons. He said that his manifesto will be based on the people’s demands for which he has sought the suggestion and will be released on November 5.