Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s confidante Meenakshi Natarajan on Monday was elected as the party’s official candidate from Mandsour Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh.
Mandsour is among the 16 Lok Sabha constituencies where the Congress is conducting US-style primaries as a pilot project for this summer’s general elections.
Natarajan, sitting MP from Mandsour, secured 706 out of the total 781 votes while her challenger Surendra Sethi got 50 votes. Reports had earlier suggested that Sethi boycotted the election after alleging that the voter list in the primary was rigged.
The entry of Sethi, a former Neemuch district Congress president, in the fray had made the battle for ticket interesting. Being a trusted aide of Gandhi, it was widely believed in Congress circles that there will be no challenger to Natarajan but Sethi surprised all. “Many saw the contest as a direct challenge to Rahul Gandhi,” a state Congress leader said.
In another result, former union minister Sis Ram Ola’s daughter-in-law Rajbala Ola won the Jhunjhunu primary. She secured 504 votes while her challenger Shravan Kumar got 286 votes.