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Polls great leveller

The second largest state in the country has in the past witnessed many a political bigwigs biting the dust.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Chhindwara
PUBLISHED ON APR 28, 2004 02:26 PM IST

Elections are a great leveller and probably no other state than Madhya Pradesh can prove it more aptly.

The second largest state in the country has in the past witnessed many a political bigwigs biting the dust at the electoral hustings.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, late President Shankar Dayal Sharma, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia or former Chief Ministers Sunderlal Patwa, Digvijay Singh or Arjun Singh have all tasted defeat in the Lok Sabha elections in the state.

The list does not end here. Former BJP Chief Kushabhau Thakre, veteran Socialist J B Kriplani and Vidyacharan Shukla were also humbled in the Lok Sabha polls.

Vajpayee was contesting 1984 elections from Gwalior and Congress sprang a surprise by pitting late Madhavrao Scindia against him. In the backdrop of a sympathy wave due to assassination of Indira Gandhi, Scindia handed over a crushing defeat to Vajpayee. The senior BJP leader lost with a margin of over 1.75 lakh votes. In 1991, Vajpayee shifted to Vidisha and romped home victorious from there.

The veteran Congress leader, who later went on to become the President of the country, Shankar Dayal Sharma, also had to face defeat from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat. In 1977 post-emergency elections, Sharma lost to Arig Baig of Rashtriya Lok Dal. Sharma, however, avenged the defeat from the same seat in 1980.

Digvijay Singh, who created history of sorts by ruling the state for a record 10 years in a row, was also defeated by BJP's Pyarelal Khandelwal in 1989 in Rajgharh. Singh defeated Khandelwal in the elections held the very nexy year.

Senior Congerss leader Arjun Singh, who was a Chief Minister and Union Minister, also lost in Lok Sabha elections on two occasions. In the fray as a Congress (Tiwari) candidate from Satna in 1996, he lost and two years later when he contested as a Congress nominee from Hoshangabad, he had to face defeat.

Along with Singh, BJP's Virendra Kumar Sakhlecha was also defeated in Satna in 1996.

Kamal Nath, who was considered to be unbeatable in the tribal dominated Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat since his introduction to the constituency in 1980 and his winning spree till 1991 elections, had to face a defeat at the hands of BJP leader Sunderlal Patwa in 1997 by-election. Nath, however, defeated Patwa in Chhindwara in the elections held next year.

In 1967 elections, Acharya Kriplani lost from the Raipur seat while the veteran Communist leader Homi Daji lost to Congress' P C Sethi from Indore parliamentary constituency.

During the Janata Party wave in the post-emergency elections, V C Shukla was trounced in Raipur.

Former BJP President late Kushabhau Thakre also figures in the list of losers when he lost the 1980 Parliamentary election from Indore.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia also had lost elections from Bhind Lok Sabha seat in 1984.

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