The emaciated Congress party could not have found a better mayoral candidate in Indore than the feisty Archana Jaiswal. She will be carrying the hopes of the party that is attempting to wrest the mayoral post from the BJP whose candidates have won the last three mayoral elections.
Whether holding any official post or not, Archana Jaiswal, who holds a Phd degree, has ensured through her actions that the party leaders hear her voice. "She speaks forcefully and openly in the party forum," says a local Congress party leader.
Most politicians claim to be social workers, but Archana Jaiswal can truly claim to be one as she has worked hard to get rape victims get married. Usually she tries to persuade the rape accused marry the victim, and if that fails she tries to find other suitable groom.
Socially she has tried to build up her support base by organising 'haldi-kumkum' functions for women at Dusshera Maidan after Sankranti. She has not contested any elections so far, but she demanded ticket during the Assembly and also the Lok Sabha elections. In fact, she had appealed to the party high command to field her from Budhni, Indore, Harda or Bhojpur - all high profile constituencies.
It was these pro-active qualities that drew her close to the then state chief minister Digvijaya Singh and he appointed her director of the IDA board, and she has been close to Singh ever since.
It was during the tenure of Kantilal Bhuria, who is close to Digvijay Singh, as party state president that Archana was made the State Mahila Congress president.
Her equation with former State Congress president Subhash Yadav and now his son Arun Yadav are equally good. Nationally, Archana is said to be close to former Congress coal minister Shriprakash Jaiswal.
But she never saw eye to eye with the present Mahila Congress national president Shobha Oza, who is also from Indore and considers Archana as a competitor.
In fact, after becoming the national Mahila Congress president Oza got Archana removed as State Mahila Congress president, and appointed Mandvi Chouhan in her place. But Congress observers say that she recently had a patch-up with Oza and Archana got the ticket after getting nod from Oza.