Many corporators have changed their wards these civic polls to break new grounds and profit from new project "cuts and spill-offs", feel poll observers. There are about 265 candidates in the fray for 85 wards in Indore which goes to civic polls on January 31 and a majority of the serial winners have opted for change in their traditional wards.
Political observers say it is because these corporators feel they have hit a "point of saturation", which reportedly doesn't allow them to be "creatively and monetarily engaged." They add corporators, like politicians, too want to expand their field of popularity and hence the ward-switching.
For instance, a BJP candidate Rajendra Rathore, who won twice from Pardeshipura, and then from Sukhliya municipal wards, is now trying his mettle from Kabir Khedi area.
Similarly, Chandu Rao Shinde, who had won elections from Nehru Nagar, HIG/MIG and Sukhliya have now shifted his contest to adjacent Nanda Nagar. There are several other similar instances; however, ward reservation for woman and for backward castes played a major role in this shuffle.
Rathore says, "It was party's decision to nominate me from Kabir Khedi area. Moreover, if development is due in other wards, it is my inherent duty to bring them on equal footing with others."
According to local residents, in his earlier terms, Rathore had spilled a lot of money on beautifying Sukhliya and Pardeshipura areas, now there is not much he can do or spend here. Comparatively in Kabir Khedi, he would get more opportunities to spend and develop. On the day of filing nominations (January 6, 2015), Rathore's convoy was seen showering currency notes in public. What does it comply?
A spokesperson of Chandu Rao Shinde says, "It is purely the party's decision who will contest from where. Shinde was chosen to contest from Nanda Nagar, because, a former BJP candidate, who was denied ticket by the party, was contesting independently from that area. He is a heavyweight to defeat, hence the party decided to field Shinde." Now it is to be seen whether these ward hoppers will live up to the expectations and bring development to their new domains.