Could anybody imagine only two candidates contesting Assembly elections in any of the constituencies in the State? It may not be possible in the present atmosphere when several parties are vying for power. However, there were only two candidates in 1957 elections in Indore I Assembly constituency.
Congress’ sitting MLA Ramlal Yadav ‘Bhallu’ is again contesting from the seat.
As many as 103 candidates have tried their luck from the constituency since 1952 in 12 elections here including a by-election.
The Congress’ Ramsingh Verma was the winner in 1952 election. Then the constituency was known as Indore City-A. Its name was changed as Indore City Central for 1957 Assembly elections and again as Indore-1 in 1962 Assembly elections.
In the first Assembly elections there were eight candidates. Against the winner Ramsingh Verma, the Socialist Party’s Govardhanlal Ojha had the second position. Despite the first elections after Independence, only 48.8 per cent voters cast their votes in the election in this constituency. Verma had polled 10,276 votes while Ojha polled 3,805 votes.
In the next elections in 1957, the Congress’ Babulal Patodi who polled 18,388 defeated Jansangh’s nominee Vasudev Rao by 10,386 votes. Interestingly, there was no third candidate in the elections.
Patodi achieved consecutive win from the constituency in 1962 elections. He polled 16,446 votes. Jansangh again breathed down the neck of the Congress. Its candidate Rajendra Neelkanth polled 10,212 votes. There were four other losers in the fray.
Patodi could not maintain the winning streak in the 1967 elections when he was defeated by the SSP’s Arif Baig. The latter secured 15,784 votes while Patodi had to be content with 9,800 votes. Interestingly, there was only one more candidate besides the two.
The Congress again snatched the seat when its candidate Mahesh Joshi won the seat in 1972 elections by polling 25,298 votes. Jansangh’s Rajendra Dharkar polled 19,182 votes.
In 1977 elections when the Janata Party wave swept across the country the party’s Omprakash Rawal won the seat by securing 22,607 votes against the Congress’ Mahesh Joshi who polled 19,182 votes. In 1972 and 1977 elections, there were five candidates each in the elections.
In the seventh Assembly elections in 1980 the Congress changed its candidate and snatched the seat. Its candidate Chandrashekhar Vyas polled 21,968 votes against the BJP’s Satyanarayan Sattan who polled 17,884 votes. This time the elections saw 11 candidates on the seat. By-election was held the same year and the BJP’s Sattan defeated the Congress’ Kripashankar Shukla. Sattan had 20,618 votes against Shukla’s 16,427 votes. As many as nine candidates were in the fray this time.
In 1985 elections, the Congress fielded Lalit Jain in place of Shukla and snatched the seat from the BJP. Jain bagged 23,198 votes against Satyanarayan Sattan’s 20,368 votes. The number of candidates in the election rose to 15.
The Congress retained the seat in 1990. Jain got 36,568 votes against the BJP’s Sattan who got 32,440 votes. The number of candidates rose to 20.
In 1993 elections, the BJP’s Lalchand Mittal won the seat by polling 50,576 votes and defeated the Congress’ Lalit Jain who polled 42, 216 votes. It was the first time the number of votes polled by any candidate touched or cross the figure of 50,000. The number of candidate was 21.
In the 1998 elections, the Congress fielded Ramlal Yadav, close to Deputy Chief Minister Subhash Yadav, who secured 55, 873 votes to win the seat defeating the BJP’s Lalchand Mittal who gave a tough fight and polled 50,433 votes.