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Gwalior-Chambal election: Now the wait is for D-Day


Gwalior-Chambal Diary Harish Dubey

  • Public meetings of Rahul and Modi gave a new turn to election process
  • BJP holds Morena for 30 years and Bhind for 25 years
  • BJP strong in urban area and Congress in rural
  • Scindia held meetings in Gwalior to put a brake to rumors
  • BJP strong in urban area and Congress in rural
  • Sangh takes responsibility to ensure Shejwalkar’s win

Now only a day is left t o the end of election campaign in Gwalior-Chambal. Campaigning has peaked in last phase. Earlier Narendra Modi tried to build up an atmosphere in favour of BJP. Later Rahul Gandhi held meetings in Gwalior, Bhind and Morena on a single day to energize the party workers. There is direct contest between Congress and BJP on all the four Lok Sabha seats of the Gwalior-Chambal region. On Guna seat the BJP candidate is much behind Jyotiraditya Scindia. Both Congress and BJP are going all out to ensure win of their respective candidates on Gwalior, Bhind and Morena seats. Jyotiraditya Scindia is thought to be close to Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Be it executing Rahul Gandhi’s strategy on the floor of the House or working to revamp and reinforce the base of the Congress party in Madhya Pradesh, Scindia plays a leading role. According to him, Rahul Gandhi is now ready to replace Narendra Modi. He is a viable alternative and would succeed in garnering the support of the citizens. However, on the issue of projecting his name as the chief ministerial candidate in Madhya Pradesh, Scindia said that as a party worker, any decision of the high command would be acceptable to him. Scindia was candid enough to concede that the Congress party is passing through a tough phase. On the issue of dynastic politics he asked which party is devoid of the syndrome. Question of survival for Ashok Singh On the Gwalior seat, the political career of Congress candidate Ashok Singh is at stake. It is his fourth election, so he has very good experience of election machinations. Priyadarshini Scindia, the wife of sitting Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, who has been renominated by the Congress from the seat for the polls on May 12, is out to prove the proverb right as she goes from door-to-door, canvassing for her better half. Guna, considered the pocket borough of the Scindias — the erstwhile royal family of Gwalior, was one of the only two seats that the Congress managed to bag in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh. The other seat won by the party was Chhindwara. Priyadarshini Scindia started campaigning in February, even before the Election Commission of India announced the parliamentary polls, giving Jyotiraditya Scindia a head start over his rivals. The Guna MP was appointed the All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge for western Uttar Pradesh earlier this year. With her husband pre-occupied with party affairs in the northern state, Priyadarshini Scindia took charge. She has been reaching out to a cross-section of voters, listening to their woes and telling them about the work done by their MP. Her close involvement with the campaign even triggered speculation that she may be formally entering politics this year. Asked about the conjecture, state Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi, known to be close to Jyotiraditya Scindia, said, “This is to be decided by the Scindia family and the Congress. But after seeing her interaction and instant connection with local party workers and common citizens at large, I can certainly say that the Congress has got a leader.” Chaturvedi said Priyadarshini Scindia has been interacting closely with voters. “Priyadarshini ji has been visiting an average of 10-12 villages on most weekdays since February and has reached out to almost every corner of Guna parliamentary seat,” he said. “She collects information about the local problems and informs the people about the work done by Scindia ji. She has been interacting with different communities and social groups,” he added. In Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls last year, the Congress did exceedingly well in Gwalior-Chambal region, considered a bastion of the Scindia family. However, its vote share in Guna was less than the BJP’s. The Congress bagged five of the eight assembly segments in Guna but it polled 16,000 votes less than the BJP. In 2014, Scindia had won this seat with a margin of around 1 lakh votes. Chaturvedi, however, does not attach much importance to this. “The entry of Scindia ji in the electoral contest decisively tilted the scales in his favour. There is no significance of assembly poll results,” he said. The BJP has fielded K P Yadav, a former Congressman who joined the saffron party earlier this year after being denied ticket for Mungaoli assembly bypoll. Guna BJP president Gajendra Sikarwar exuded confidence that Scindia will not be able to retain the seat this time. “Scindia has been representing Guna in Parliament for the past one-and-a-half decade but did nothing for this region. Now people are asking for an account of his work,” Sikarwar told PTI. “Only (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi can save the country and people have started realising this now. Besides, there is a huge impact of the development work carried out by the NDA government. People are going to vote to elect a nationalist government,” he added. Since 1952, members of the Scindia family have won 14 times from Guna seat.

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