Indore: Lok Sabha Speaker and local BJP MP Sumitra Mahajan camp suffered a humiliating defeat in the assembly elections whereas its rival group within the party – the Kailash Vijayvargiya camp – won both the seats it contested. Ahead of parliamentary elections due in April next year, this defeat has certainly sent ripples through Mahajan (also known as Tai) camp. Besides, Mahajan’s bitter war with Vijayvargiya (also referred as Bhai) over ticket distribution during assembly polls may hit her prospects of winning parliamentary elections if she contests again.
Mahajan camp had fetched tickets for its members including Sudarshan Gupta, Rajesh Sonkar, Madhu Verma and Mahendra Hardia whereas Vijavargiya camp got tickets for Ramesh Mendola and Akash, son of Kailash Vijayvargiya. Previously, both the camps used to get three seats each. Indore-3 seat used to be with Mahajan camp. In last elections, she pushed for Rajesh Sonkar who eventually got ticket from Sanwer seat. But the party fielded RSS-supported Usha Thakur from Indore-3. Mahajan had no problem with Usha but did not want Vijayavargiya men to come to Indore- 3 constituency.
In this assembly election, Vijayvargiya staked claim on Indore-3 seat. He wanted party to field Mendola from Indore-3 and his son Akash from Indore-2. This led to a battle between Mahajan and Vijayvargiya. The former was not willing to give up claim on Indore-3 at any cost so Vijayvargiya traded with party. He gave up one seat of his camp to Mahajan camp and took Indore- 3. Mahajan was unwilling to accept the offer but she had to give up in front of high command. But the party fielded Akash from Indore-3 against Congress heavyweight Ashwin Joshi and Mendola from Indore-2 under the pressure of Mahajan.
Two-time MLA from Indore-2, Mendola won the seat by more than 71,000 votes. His victory margin remains highest in the state. Akash surprised many by winning Indore-3 by a margin of 5751 votes that too when many a BJP leader worked day and night to ensure his defeat. On the other side, two-time MLA from Indore-1, Gupta lost election against Congress candidate Sanjay Shukla by a margin of 8163 votes whereas Sanver sitting MLA Sonkar suffered defeat against Tulsiram Silawat whom he had upset in last polls.
Verma contested election against Congress heavyweight Jitu Silawat and lost by 5703 votes. The only candidate from Tai camp, Hardia – a three-time MLA from Indore-5 — managed to save the seat by a slender margin of 1133 votes. This election intensified the rivalry between the two camps and its impact will be visible in Lok Sabha polls.