Will political equations change in Indore district this time?

  • After ticket distribution, rebellion is being seen in BJP and Congress
  • Indore district is most challenging for Congress in MP

Milind Muzumdar, Indore
After the distribution of tickets by Congress and BJP, the process of filing nominations of the candidates has begun. Will Indore district, which is considered a strong fort of BJP, break this time? This time around, Congress is looking hopeful from Indore district because there is a huge rebellion in BJP. In Depalpur, Hindutva leader Rajendra Chaudhary has announced that he will file independent nomination. Similarly, dissatisfaction is visible in area number 5 also. Even in Mhow assembly constituency, BJP candidate Usha Thakur is not getting full support from the local leaders.

Because of this, it remains to be seen what happens in the 2023 assembly elections. However, Indore district has emerged as the biggest challenge for Congress in Madhya Pradesh. For the last 33 years, BJP has achieved continuous electoral successes in Indore district. Barring the 1998 assembly elections, BJP has been getting more seats than Congress in all the assembly elections since 1990. In the 2018 assembly elections, while Congress was successful in forming a minority government in the state, it was lagging behind BJP in Indore district. In Indore district, BJP has been continuously achieving success in both District Panchayat and Indore Municipal Corporation elections for the last 5 times. Even in the matter of district members and sarpanches, BJP was far ahead of Congress. The network of Sangh Parivar is also very strong in Indore district, which benefits BJP.

For the first time in 2000, mayor elections were conducted directly by the public in Indore Municipal Corporation. In those elections, Kailash Vijayvargiya became the first mayor elected by the public. After this, in 2005, Dr. Uma Shashi Sharma won the election of Corporation Mayor, she defeated Shobha Ojha by about 13000 votes in a tough fight. In 2010, BJP nominated Krishna Murari Moghe, who defeated Pankaj Sanghvi of Congress by about 3500 votes. This was the closest defeat of Congress in Municipal Corporation elections, otherwise Malini Gaur in 2015 elections and Pushyamitra Bhargava in 2023 elections have defeated Congress candidates by huge margins. Same situation prevailed in District Panchayat elections also.

From BJP’s side, Ramkaran Bhabar, Kailash Patidar, Om Parsavadiya, Kavita Patidar and Reena Malviya (current president) have been elected as District Panchayat President. BJP has achieved huge success in the three-tier Panchayat elections along with district and district Panchayat representatives as well as Gram Panchayat elections. In the Panchayat elections held last year, BJP had succeeded in making all four district presidents in the district. Similarly, BJP has also won by a huge margin in the elections of Municipal Corporation wards. BJP has succeeded in getting more than 50 councilors elected for the last 5 times.

In the 2018 assembly elections, Congress had won Saaver, Depalpur, Rau and area number 1. Whereas BJP had won in Mhow, area number 2, 3, 4 and 5. Later, in the by-election of Saaver Assembly held in July 2020, Premchand Guddu of Congress lost to Tulsi Silavat of BJP, thus the number of BJP MLAs increased to 6 in the district. There are 9 assembly constituencies in Indore district. Mhow assembly constituency of the district comes under Dhar Lok Sabha constituency. In the assembly elections held after 1990, only the 1998 election was such that Congress was successful in winning 6 out of 8 assembly seats from the district. At that time, Kailash Vijayvargiya had won from area number 2 and Laxman Singh Gaur had won from area number 4 from BJP. Otherwise, in all the elections held after 1990, the dominance of BJP was clearly visible in Indore district. Obviously, the biggest challenge before Congress will be to break the BJP stronghold of Indore.

Social structure and politics of Indore

Due to it being an industrial and business area, the number of urban voters is very high here. Generally, the urban voters of the country traditionally prefer BJP. About 62 percent voters in Indore Lok Sabha seat are urban and 38 percent voters are rural. Among the rural voters, there are a large number of Patidar, Kurmi, Lodhi, Kushwaha, Rajput voters who are associated with the Sangh Parivar. These voters are considered the core voters of BJP. In this thirteen Indore city, the number of Marathi voters is above two lakhs who usually vote in favor of BJP. Apart from these, Rajasthani and Gujarati voters also generally vote for BJP. Vaishya voters like Jain, Agarwal, Neema, Porwal, Brahmins of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan also generally vote for BJP. Therefore, the social structure of Indore is considered favorable for BJP.

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