While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has swept the civic polls and its mayoral candidate won with a huge margin in Bhopal, the silver lining for the Congress is the victory of the new crop of its leaders.
Surprisingly, these young leaders who have been elected as corporators in Bhopal have won from areas that were considered BJP bastions, and hence, bucking the trend. Even insiders in the Congress say that they didn't have much confidence that the party candidates would win from these wards.
Yogendra Singh alias Guddu Chauhan won from ward number 46, defeating BJP’s Ashish Agarwal. This victory is important as Agarwal is nephew of BJP heavyweight and minister for higher education Umashankar Gupta.
Pradeep Saxena, popularly known as Monu Saxena, won from ward number 27. Both these candidates won from New Bhopal which has been swept by the BJP.
Saxena had begun his political journey from NSUI and later graduated to the Youth Congress. Guddu Chauhan is one of the most visible faces of the party in protests and demonstrations organised by the district Congress.
"Both Guddu Chauhan and Monu Saxena's success augurs well for the party, as they remained active on the streets throughout the year, and were always on the forefront in agitations and demonstrations," said a functionary at the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC).
"There is a message in it that active leaders may win despite disenchantment of people with the party," he added.
Apart from them, Vatsayan Jain won from ward number 21 that includes Chowk, the heart of Old Bhopal, which is considered party's mayoral candidate Alok Sharma's stronghold. Jain is the son of veteran Congress leader Ashok Jain 'Bhabha'. All of them have won for the first time.
Other than these three leaders who won for the first time, Amit Sharma again won from New Bhopal.
Analysts say that the Congress didn't have a new generation of leaders and this victory may give impetus to the party, especially, as the victory in the civic polls is seen as stepping stone towards the next level. BJP legislators Umashankar Gupta, Rameshwar Sharma and Vishwas Sarang were also a corporator before becoming MLAs.