Will BJP be able to maintain its hold of 28 years?

  • BJP uses Brahmin face to appeal to upper caste vote bank

Avinash Dixit, Jabalpur
With the face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP is confident of winning the Jabalpur parliamentary seat, the pivot of Mahakaushal, while Congress has made Dinesh Yadav the Lok Sabha candidate from Jabalpur in the fourth list. Dinesh Yadav is a loyal and senior leader of the party, before this he was playing the role of Congress State General Secretary.

If we talk about BJP, it had started preparations for Mission 2024 long ago. BJP is focusing on election gathering with the intention of strengthening its hold on all the seats of Mahakaushal. BJP has held the Jabalpur Lok Sabha seat for 28 years. If we talk about the last four elections, in each election its candidate has increased his victory margin. This time, BJP has fielded Brahmin face Ashish Dubey from Jabalpur parliamentary constituency to cater to the upper caste vote bank.

Ashish Dubey has a lot of experience in the organizational work of the party, but he is contesting the Lok Sabha elections for the first time, hence he will face the challenge of increasing the victory margin of former MP Rakesh Singh.

In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, BJP had fielded Rakesh Singh, he got 3,11,646 votes, while his nearest rival Vishwanath Dubey of Congress got 2,12,115 votes. For the first time, Rakesh Singh was successful in winning by 99,531 votes. In 2009, he contested the elections for the second time and took 3,43,922 votes. This time Congress fielded Rameshwar Neekhara, who got 2,37,919 votes. This time also the BJP candidate was successful in winning by 1,06,003 votes. In the 2014 general elections, amidst the Modi wave, BJP again expressed confidence in Rakesh Singh. At the same time, Congress fielded eminent jurist and current Rajya Sabha member Vivek Krishna Tankha into the political arena for the first time. Due to his clean image and being a well-known leader of Congress, there were speculations that Tankha would give a tough fight, but Rakesh Singh refuted all the speculations by winning by 2,08,639 votes.

Rakesh Singh got 5,64,609 votes in this election. Whereas Tankha could get only 3,55,970 votes. In 2019, the same rivals again entered the electoral battle, but the result remained the same as in the previous elections. Rakesh Singh polled 8,26,454 votes while Vivek Tankha and Krishna Tankha could poll only 3,71,710 votes. In this way, Rakesh Singh registered his fourth consecutive victory and won by a record 4,54,744 votes.

Public will cash in on the issue of electoral bonds: Dinesh

According to Congress candidate Dinesh Yadav, State Secretary of Congress and former City Congress Committee President of Jabalpur, till now the public has not been influenced by the party’s policies or it has not been properly communicated to the common people, hence Congress is lagging behind on this seat. Yadav candidly admitted that at present the condition of Congress is bad and victory is far away, it is a challenge for Congress to even come close to the victory figure. It may be noted that Dinesh Yadav was the President of the City Congress Committee for almost 12 years. He was a three-time councilor, MIC member and leader of opposition in the Municipal Corporation. During the assembly elections held in November, he was in-charge of Mandla district, where Congress performed well. Dinesh Yadav’s image is considered to be a fearless and outspoken leader among the Congressmen. He is considered very close to former minister and the only Congress MLA from Jabalpur, Lakhan Ghanghoria. Lakhan Ghanghoria has a strong personal network of supporters in areas other than his assembly, which is sure to benefit Yadav. Apart from this, the other factions of the Congress also have nothing left to lose, hence all of them will reluctantly show solidarity and go to promote the party’s guarantees among the voters, from which Congress may get some benefit.

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