In Indore, BJP engaged in caste arithmetics to engineer favourable sentiments across nine seats
By Team 101Reporters
Indore: After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday declared their first list of candidates - 177 seats out of the 230 assembly constituencies - for Madhya Pradesh assembly elections on November 28, higher-ups have now started mulling over the controversial seats in Indore district.
In a series of meetings that are currently being held in New Delhi, the main discussion this time is around ‘social engineering’.
“We have held meetings on this. The selection of the candidate is based on the voters equation in each constituency, but that doesn't mean that we will ignore the popularity of the candidate in that particular constituency just to make sure that members of a community or caste are satisfied,” says Gopi Krishna Nema, BJP Indore district president. Nine constituencies in Indore district include Indore 1-5, Rai, Mhow, Depalpur, Sanwer.
Upper caste persons and those against reservation have openly confronted leaders of both the BJP and Congress in various parts of the state. A caste battle has begun in MP - Individuals from reserved assembly seats and tribal areas have begun forming their own organizations, swearing to contest reserved seats independently. Additionally, castes like Sindhis, Patidars and Rajputs have threatened to contest independently, if the ones who they support are not given a ticket.
Keeping in mind the upcoming fourth front, with the formation of parties like Samanya Pichra Alpsankhyak Kalyan Samaj (SAPAKS) and Jay Adivasi Yuva Shakti (JAYS) in the state, party leaders want to make sure that they don’t leave out candidates from any caste.
“If I get a ticket from Mhow this time, it will be because of the work I have done for the party. We all stand for the 'lotus’ and will receive support not only from the community, but from all the BJP supporters. Rest will be decided by the party leaders,” said Kavita Patidar, contender from Mhow assembly seat.
In Indore-3 assembly constituency, if the incumbent Rajput MLA, Usha Thakur is sidelined to give tickets to rebel candidates like senior party leaders Gopi Nema and Rajendra Shukla, the situation would be such that there would be no candidate from the Rajputs, to counter Antar Singh Darbar, a senior Congress leader of the same community, who is likely to get a ticket from Mhow constituency.
Ramesh Mendola, a Brahmin MLA from Indore-2, might be moved to another seat to make way for BJP supremo Kailash Vijayvargiya’s son, Aakash’s political debut. In this case, he will be given either Indore-3 or Rau constituency, where the number of Brahmin voters is more.
The Vaishya community enjoys a hold on two important seats in the Indore district - Indore-1 and Mhow. On both these seats, leaders Sudarshan Gupta and Kailash Vijaywargiya have a strong hold. Senior leader Gopi Nema is also expecting a ticket this time from Indore-3, bringing the number of Vaishya leaders to three.
Although the Murai community does not have a huge vote bank in MP, there is a long list of leaders expecting a ticket from this community. While Pankaj Sanghvi, the MLA from Indore-5 remains a strong candidate from this community, people like Madhu Verma, Amardeep Morya, Balram Verma and Mohit Verma cannot be ignored.
Voters from Indore-4, which has the maximum number of Sindhis in the city, have claimed that they want one of their own as a leader. Vouching for Shankar Lalwani, the Sindhi community has threatened to contest independently if he does not receive a ticket.
Leader of Patidar community, Hardik Patel, who had influenced Gujarat assembly elections to a great extent has been highly visible in Indore, and is now seen as a threat by the BJP. There is a possibility that they might bring out Kavita Patidar from Mhow constituency, to give a chance to the community and win the vote bank.
The Balai community, who have a major vote share in Sanwer constituency reserved for scheduled caste, have stated that is it important that their own candidate gets a ticket.
The fate of the Maharashtrian community will also be tested, as Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is backing her daughter-in-law Trupti Mahajan, to contest from Rau constituency, where the number of Maharashtrian voters is high. If ‘Tai’ is able to secure a ticket for her daughter-in-law, there are chances of a tough fight for Rau.
It is a challenge for the party to accommodate leaders of all castes in Indore district’s nine seats, all the while ensuring that no rebel candidate surfaces.
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