Bhopal, Oct 22 (SocialNews.XYZ) The high profile Churhat assembly seat in Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh, which had seen a bipolar contest between the Congress and the BJP until the last election, is likely to witness a close contest between three leaders of three political parties.
Churhat, the home town of former chief minister and ex-Union minister late Arjun Singh, is considered a traditional Congress seat. Arjun Singh’s son Ajay Singh, popularly known as “Rahul Bhaiya” among his supporters, represented this family seat six times, including in 2008 and 2013.
However, in 2018, Ajay Singh lost the election to the BJP's Sharatendu Tiwari with a margin of around 6,402 votes. For the Congress which won as many as 114 seats against the BJP's 109 in 2018, the result in Churhat was a big shock.
Now, the election in Churhat seems to be more interesting as it is not going to be a direct contest between the BJP's sitting MLA Sharatendu Tiwari and six-time former MLA Ajay Singh. The reason: the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded former BJP Lok Sabha MP Govind Mishra's son Rajan Mishra.
Govind Mishra had resigned from the saffron party after he was denied a ticket in 2019. Now, his son Rajan Mishra is making his political debut from the AAP and he is likely to dent the BJP's vote bank as his father has been a strong Brahmin leader in Sidhi district.
Rajan's entry into politics from Churhat will worry Sharatendu Tiwari not only because Mishra may dent the traditional BJP votes, but also because Tiwari is facing the resentment of Brahmin voters beside high anti-incumbency after the 20-year rule of the saffron party.
Brahmins are in a dominant position with around 70,000 votes in the Churhat assembly constituency, while Thakur (Kshatriya) voters are between 15000 and 20,000. The OBCs and ST/SC together have around one lakh votes. Among the OBC category, the Patel community with around 18,000 votes would be a deciding factor.
Some local residents of Churhat who spoke to IANS claimed that around 80 per cent Brahmins had voted for Sharatendu Tiwari. However, this time half of the Brahmin voters will support the AAP’s Rajan Mishra because of his father’s legacy and his clean image. “People are annoyed with Sharatendu Tiwari mainly because of his attitude. In the past five years, he has focused on making money,” said a resident of Kusmahar village in the Churhat assembly constituency.
“Ajay Singh lost the election in 2018, but his core voters remain with him. He lost the election mainly because of two reasons – his inactiveness and also because most of the Patel voters had shifted to the BJP. But, after losing the election, he has been coming here at regular intervals and meeting the people. He is the only leader, who has a strong vote bank in all the communities because he would support people without seeing if that particular person supported him or not. If he manages to get the backing of the Patels and some other OBC voters, he may win the election because the Brahmin voters have also said that they made mistakes in 2018,” said Ram Prasad Mishra, a resident of Khaddi village in Churhat.
A couple of people associated with BJP MLA Sharatendu Tiwari also said that the election would be tough for him because of the AAP’s Rajan Mishra, as his father has been a strong leader of the region.
Speaking to IANS over phone, Ajay Singh, who was in his constituency, said, “See, I have been working for the people of Churhat for several decades and people have shown their love. But, the elections are always tough and I am not taking it casually. People of Churhat are well aware about the present situation and now it is up to them whom they vote for. Things would be clearer after the candidates file their nominations.”
Ajay Singh leads the faction of his father Arjun Singh, who was a Congress stalwart in the state. He was appointed the Leader of the Opposition twice and was minister for panchayats in the Digvijaya Singh government from 1998 to 2003.