Power cuts may cut into Cong votes in big way

With a strong anti-incumbency factor prevailing in almost all 4 constituencies in Katni, BJP and JD(U) are likely to get benefited here, reports Punya Priya Mitra.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2003 14:54 IST

With a strong anti-incumbency factor primarily following p

ower cuts prevailing in almost all the four constituencies – Katni proper, Vijayraghavgarh, Badwara and Bahoriband, having Congress’ sitting MLAs, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal United (U) is likely to get benefited here.

But it would be too early to make any predictions regard-ing the poll results as BJP was rattled with factionalism, while JD (U) doesn’t have a good cadre here, after the de-mise of its state chief Bachchan Nayak.

During the last Assembly elections, the then BJP district president Lal Ra-jendra Singh Baghel who was denied party ticket ran the election as Inde-pendent candidate from Vijayraghavgarh Assembly constituency and got 9,489 votes which ultimately benefited the Congress to win this seat.

Even his loyalists were responsible for the BJP’s dismal performance in the Assembly elections in Katni district in 1998. Currently, the erratic power supply largely in the entire district is going to benefit both BJP & JD(U) in Assembly elections on December 1.

Load shedding, sometimes for 4 hours in a day, is being experienced here and the people were ‘unhappy’ with the ruling party saying that it was discriminating with them. Similarly, the Lodhi caste factor of Uma Bharti is likely to improve the BJP’s vote bank, especially in Bad-wara wherein nearly 30,000 Patels live.

As of now, it appears that the possibility of Congress to retain

the Katni proper, Vijayraghavgarh Assembly segments was slim. However, the position of Congress was not so bad in Bahoriband and Badwara. The people by and large are satisfied with Congress sitting MLA & PWD Minister Shravan Patel and Haji Ghulam Sipten in Ba-horiband and Badwara respectively as they have carried out developmental works.

Apart from BJP, the Congress would face challenge from JD(U) as its candidate had been runner up in Bahoriband, and had secured 8775 votes in Badwara.

BAHORIBAND A GLANCE

The electoral history of all the four constituencies in Katni suggests Congress dominance in the region. Of all the elections held be-tween 1957 and 1998, Congress has won five times in Bahoriband Assembly segment, while Jana Sangh and BJP together could bag this seat just thrice.

The Congress lost this seat to Janata Party in 1977. The PWD Minister Shravan Patel had won 1998 election from this seat securing 28,672 votes, while his nearest rival Janata Dal candidate Saroj Naik was polled 18,312 votes.

The BJP’s candidate Dr Rani Dube got 16,047 votes from Bahoriband. In this Assembly election Shravan Patel has succeeded in getting his son Nishith Patel the Congress ticket from this constituency. The BJP is yet to decide on a candidate to take on the youthful Nishith.

KATNI

Katni proper has electoral record of Congress winning five times and BJP managing to corner this seat just once. Congress candidate Dr AP Singh won the 1998 Assembly election securing 45,491 votes over his nearest rival BJP’s Sukriti Jain who ended up getting 32,654 votes.

Janata Dal’s candidate Niranjan polled 6893 votes. Both the Congress and the BJP have yet to name their respective candidates for this seat.

BADWARA BADWARA

It happens to be the Congress’ strongest bastion with the BJP never emerging victorious from this seat. The ruling party registered victories six times in the elections held between 1957 and 1998. The sitting Congress legislator Haji Ghulam Sipten secured 27,630 votes in 1998 election and defeated his nearest rival BJP’s Dhruv Pratap Singh, who was polled 24,696 votes in all.

Janata Dal candidate Bachhan Nayak, who is now no more, finished third securing 17,607 votes. The Congress has decided to field its winning candidate Haji Ghulam Sipten once again, whereas the BJP has yet to name a candidate hav-ing decided to shift Dhruv Pratap Singh to fight the elections from Vijayraghavgarh this time.

VIJAYRAGHAVGARH

The Congress has, to its credit, eight victories in Vijayraghavgarh Assem-bly constituency, while BJP had to be content with just two wins in all the elections conducted from 1957 to 1998. Sitting Congress MLA Satyendra Pathak, who is Civil Supplies Minister, secured 31,638 votes in 1998, while BJP’s Padma Shukla got 19,745 votes. Satyendra Pathak is again the Congress nominee for this constituency and will take on BJP’s Dhruv Pratap Singh who has been shifted from Bad-wara where he had lost to Haji Ghu-lam Sipten.

First Published: Nov 07, 2003 13:58 IST