Will Congress be able to stop the infighting in Manpur this time?

  • Minister Meena Singh has dominance in area, has been in charge since 2003
  • AAP can spoil game of BJP-Congress

Avinash Dixit / Satish Vishwakarma, Umaria
Interesting equations are created in every election in Manpur assembly seat reserved for Scheduled Tribes. BJP has been holding this seat since 2003. Hence, the question regarding the upcoming elections is imminent — whether Congress will be able to select the right candidate this time and if it fails in this, then what will happen to its intention to form the government in the state?

These questions are also being raised since despite electoral defeats from 2003 to 2018, Congress is not getting political success because it is not able to learn lessons from the continuous mistakes in bridging infighting and candidate selection.

If we look at the results of 2008 and 2013, we can see that the mistake in candidate selection cost Congress dearly. In 2008, Gyanwati Singh of Congress stood second. In 2013, when she did not get the ticket, she contested the elections as an independent candidate and then stood second. While Congress candidate Shakuntala Pradhan slipped to third place. This means that despite the lack of support from the Congress organization, Gyanwati Singh remained the runner up. If Congress had not made a mistake in sensing the regional equations and the political environment of that time, it might have been successful in snatching the seat from BJP.

What is the secret of Meena Singh’s victory?
Manpur assembly is divided into two blocks, the first Manpur block has 84 panchayats while the second block Virsinghpur Pali has 44 panchayats. The secret of Meena Singh’s victory is also related to this. Manpur block with 84 panchayats is considered the stronghold of BJP. Meena Singh also serves in the assembly in the same block, in view of the caste equations, she also has a lot of influence here. If we talk about Pali block, this block with 44 gram panchayats has a majority of Congress supporters. In most of the elections, Congress remained ahead from here, hence its candidates also kept getting selected from this area.

Political scenario from 2003 to 2018 – Before 2003, Shakuntala of Congress used to be the chief MLA in Manpur Assembly, but in 2003 and 2008, Congress changed the ticket and made Gyanwati Singh its candidate but she lost to BJP’s Meena Singh both the times. In 2013, Congress again canceled Gyanwati’s ticket and placed a bet on Shakuntala Pradhan. Angered by this, Gyanwati contested the elections as an independent candidate and stood second. The election script of 2018 was also strange. District Panchayat member Tilak Raj Singh, who held various posts in the BJP organization, joined the Congress. His name was also announced as a candidate, but suddenly his name was deleted and the ticket was given to Gyanvati Singh, due to which there was such infighting in the Congress that it again faced defeat.

Weak links

These days there is a buzz in Manpur assembly constituency that this time Congress can select its candidate from Manpur block which has 84 Panchayats, if this happens then Congress can be successful in making a big dent in this stronghold of BJP, but the think tank of Congress will have to keep in mind that its two leaders and contenders for ticket from BJP, Shakuntala Pradhan and Gyanvati, should not be successful in breaking into the vote bank of Congress itself. There is also an equation that if Tilak Raj Singh, whose ticket was cut off in 2018, is given the ticket now, then what will be the role of another contender for ticket from Congress, Manpur district member Roshni Singh, who is active on party programs including social media…..? On the other hand, ticket selection is no less than a challenge for BJP also.

Usha from AAP will spoil the equation
It is clearly visible that there will be a triangular contest in the upcoming elections in Manpur Assembly. While BJP and Congress are engaged in full swing, Aam Aadmi Party is also making door-to-door contacts for the last 6 months. Usha Kol is being considered as a possible candidate from the Aam Aadmi Party. Usha Kol had been the chairperson of the Municipal Council before joining the BJP. A few months ago, she had won as an independent candidate in the Municipal Council elections. The ward from which Usha Kol was elected as an independent councilor was earlier in the control of Congress. After being elected as an independent councilor, Usha Kol took membership of Aam Aadmi Party. She is currently the state secretary of Aam Aadmi Party. The Aam Aadmi Party will harm both Congress and BJP, but in Pali block, where Congress is strong, Congress seems to suffer more due to the Aam Aadmi Party contesting the elections.

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