Lok Sabha elections 2019: In MP, Congress looks to build on state poll wins, BJP aims to bounce back
In the last phase, the state’s drought-hit Bundelkhand went to polls. This time around, the Gwalior-Chambal region, besides parts of Bundelkhand and central Madhya Pradesh, will go to polls on Sunday.
The eight constituencies include four in the Gwalior-Chambal region — Gwalior, Guna, Morena and Bhind (a seat reserved for candidates from the Scheduled Caste categories)— and three are in central MP, including Bhopal, Vidisha and Rajgarh. The remaining seat is Sagar, which falls in Bundelkhand region.
In the 2014 elections, the BJP won all these seats, except Guna that was won by Congress general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia. The saffron party won 27 of the 29 seats in the state. However, the December assembly elections put the Congress back in power after 15 years.
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Last April’s violence in the Gwalior-Chambal region during a bandh observed by SC/ST organisations— called after the Supreme Court rolled back certain provisions of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act —claimed nine lives. This time too, it is an election issue.
Among the main candidates in the fray are sitting MP and Congress candidate from Guna Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is seeking his fifth consecutive term. The BJP’s KP Yadav will face him.
Union minister for rural development Narendra Singh Tomar is contesting on a BJP ticket from Morena. He had represented the seat from 2009 to 2014 but shifted to Gwalior in 2014 and won by less than 30,000 votes. Congress has fielded ex-MLA Ramnivas Rawat while BSP has fielded Kartar Singh Bhadana from Morena.
Bhind, which is reserved for scheduled castes, offers an interesting fight. The Congress has pinned its hopes on Devashish Jarariya, who defected to the party from the BSP. He has been one of leaders at the forefront of the agitation against the dilution of the SC/ST Act . The BJP aims to receive support from non-SC votes and draw benefit from the division of SC votes among the Congress and the BSP.
Bhopal will see a fierce fight between Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh and BJP’s candidate Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in 2008 Malegaon serial bomb blasts. Earlier in the month, Thakur was barred for 72 hours by the Election Commission over her polarising campaign speeches, including her remarks on being involved in the Babri Masjid demolition, and her so-called curse on IPS officer Hemant Karkare, who investigated the Malegaon blast, and died in the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.
While the BJP hopes to gain from Hindutva issue, Digvijaya Singh is pushing his development agenda for the state capital to convince the voters.
In Rajgarh, where is Singh has contested before, the Congress has fielded Mona Sustani against the BJP’s sitting MP and candidate Rodmal Nagar. BSP has not fielded any candidate here. Jayant Singh Tomar, head of the department of journalism at Institute of Technology and Management University, Gwalior said, “The political equations are quite different this time in comparison to those during state assembly elections. The anger against BJP has subsided and factors like caste equations and national issues are at play.”
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After the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) landslide victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi on a thanksgiving visit on Monday.He marked his visit by offering prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple before heading to address party workers.Modi won the Varanasi parliamentary seat by a margin 4,79,505 votes, defeating his nearest rival Shalini Yadav of the Samajwadi Party.Follow highlights here: