Bhopal, Oct 22 (SocialNews.XYZ) Even as the BJP’s central leadership has refrained from declaring its chief ministerial face for the forthcoming Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, its National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya has already started projecting himself for the post during campaigning.
During public meetings Vijayvargiya, who has been fielded from Indore-1, can often be heard saying, “I am not contesting elections just to become an MLA. The party will give me some bigger responsibility.”
The 67-year-old Vijayvargiya, who won six Assembly elections consecutively between 1990 and 2013 from different seats of Indore district, has been fielded against the Congress’ sitting MLA Sanjay Shukla for the election scheduled for November 17.
However, people in political circles are aware of the close relationship between Vijayvargiya and Shukla and therefore, the contest between these two leaders has become debatable.
The BJP’s central leadership had made Vijayvargiya the candidate from the Indore-1 seat much before the Congress announced its first list last Sunday. Until then, there was speculation within the Congress that Shukla may be shifted to another seat in Indore district.
However, the state Congress leadership reposed faith in Shukla and retained him. In the 2018 polls, Shukla was the sole winning candidate of the Congress among all five seats in the urban areas of Indore. The remaining four seats were bagged by the BJP. Shukla had defeated his nearest rival candidate, the BJP’s Sudarshan Gupta by 8,163 votes in that election.
An Indore-based Congress worker said, “The party has retained Shukla because he is the best candidate to challenge Vijayvargiya as he knows his strengths and weaknesses. The contest would be very close and Vijayvargiya also knows it very well, which is why he is conducting public meetings extensively.”
Sources in the Congress also said the party has made an elaborate plan to corner Vijayvargiya which will surprise him at the last moment. Apart from this, the Congress is also focusing on the caste equation of Indore-1, which would be a crucial factor in this election.
Shukla, who is contesting his second Assembly election, hails from the Brahmin community. With its new strategy to woo OBC voters, the Congress will try to gain the maximum support of Yadav voters. Notably, the role of the Brahmin and Yadav community members is expected to be significant in deciding the poll result in the Indore-1 Assembly seat, which comprises 3.64 lakh voters.
Sources close to Shukla said a fresh plan is being prepared by the Congress to balance caste equations in this Assembly segment. Along with this, preparations are also being made for a series of meetings of the national-level leaders of the Opposition party.
Sources said Shukla and Vijayvargiya have changed their strategy to woo voters. While, Shukla is presenting himself as a local from Indore-1 and reminding the electorate that he has always helped the people, Vijayvargiya, who is usually a confident and laidback leader, is also knocking on each door now.
Interestingly, a day after the BJP’s central leadership made him a candidate from Indore-1, Vijayvargiya was heard saying, “Who will fold their hands before the people for votes.” But, now sensing that the contest would be close, he has started doing so against his wish.
Known for his fondness for singing devotional songs at public events, Vijayvargiya is trying to win the trust of voters with promises of rapid development of Indore-1 and of curbing the drug trade.
On the other hand, Shukla, who has organised several religious events and bhandaras (public feasts) in the last five years, is claiming to have stood by the people of his constituency through thick and thin.
As the BJP has kept the race for the chief minister’s post open, the Congress also stands to benefit from the internal fighting within the BJP in this election as there are many big names from the saffron party in the fray who think that Vijayvargiya may pose a challenge to them if the BJP comes back to power in the state.