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Both the Congress and BJP would be anxious and apprehensive in Sanver, because of the comparatively equal support base of both parties.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2003 11:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Can anybody imagine a candidate winning by a margin as narrow as 27 votes! Well, a Congress candidate from Sanver Assembly Constituency has this rather awkward distinction.

The contest on the seat acquires much importance particularly for the State Congress president Radhakishan Malviya who wants to brighten his son Rajendra Malviya’s political prospects by getting him fielded from the constituency.

This constituency is probably one seat in Indore, which both the Congress and BJP would be anxious and apprehensive about, because of the comparatively equal support base of both parties. An interesting factor has been that the winning candidates’ victory margins have been quite narrow in the last two elections, indicating that the scales are in balance.

In the 10 elections held to this constituency, the Congress has won five times and the BJP on four occasions. The only occasion when another party won was during the Janata Party wave in 1977. In the first ever elections held in 1962, Congress’ Sajjansingh Vishnar defeated his nearest Jansangh rival Shitaldas Garibdas by a margin of nearly 7000 votes. However, the Jansangh bagged the seat in the next elections when their candidate Babulal Kaluji defeated Vishnar by a margin of about 500 votes.

Then in the 1970 by-elections Vishnar wrested the seat back from the Jansangh by defeating Babulal Govind by a margin of merely 27 votes. The Congress won the seat again in the 1972 elections when its candidate Radhakishan Malviya (now the Congress state president) defeated Hariram Raghunath of the BJP by a margin of about 2100 votes.

The victory margins have been comparatively narrow even in the Janata party wave of 1977. The Janata Party candidate Arjunsingh Dharu defeatedv Malviya by a margin of about 2200 votes on that occasion.

Malviya faced another defeat the following elections in 1980 when BJP’s Prakash Sonkar defeated him by less than 3000 votes.

The Congress regained the seat in 1985 when Tulsi Silawat defeated Sonkar. But Sonkar came back with greater support in the next elections in 1990 to defeat Tulsi Silawat by probably the biggest margin in this constituency of nearly 8000 votes.

In the 1993 elections, Sonkar again defeated Tulsi Silawat by a wafer thin margin of 134 votes. Sonkar, however, lost to Premchand Guddu of the Congress in the 1998 elections.

This time, the BJP retained Sonkar as their candidate whereas the Congress fielded Radhakishan Malviya’s son Rajendra Malviya as his opponent.

While political observers try to measure the two main candidate’s political stature, there is a lot of speculation about the probable winner. Radhakishan Malviya will be trying his level best to ensure his son’s victory.

It is not without any reason that Premchand Guddu, the sitting MLA from the seat, had his ticket almost confirmed with the support from Malviya from Alot constituency. The State Congress president’s thinking was that if Guddu was denied ticket being confined to Sanver constituency he would do much damage to his son’s political prospects.

Hence, Malviya achieved a sort of victory in the initial phase of the elections by getting Guddu adjusted against some other seat by the party high command. Now it remains to be seen if Malviya who was defeated by Prakash Sonkar in 1980 elections would be able to turn tables on Sonkar in the present elections.

First Published: Nov 27, 2003 11:46 IST