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Battle Lines Redrawn: In Bundelkhand, Congress' 'Natiraja' Takes on Mentor Satyavrat Chaturvedi's Son

​An influential leader, Satyavrat Chaturvedi’s rebellion is not only dubbed as a jolt to the Congress in Bundelkhand but it is also an outcome of a stiff rivalry between Kamal Nath and campaign committee chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia, both vying for the chief minister’s berth.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:November 20, 2018, 2:05 PM IST
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Battle Lines Redrawn: In Bundelkhand, Congress' 'Natiraja' Takes on Mentor Satyavrat Chaturvedi's Son
A combination image of Natiraja and his mentor Satyavrat Chaturvedi.
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Bhopal: In the parched Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh, an interesting triangular battle is on the cards in Rajnagar seat. Here three-time Congress MLA Kunwar Vikram Singh ‘Natiraja’ is taking on Samajwadi Party candidate Nitin Chaturvedi, son of Congress veteran Satyavrat Chaturvedi, and BJP’s Arvind Pateriya.

On Monday, the Congress had expelled Chaturvedi for campaigning for his son. Chaturvedi’s association with the Congress spans over several decades. He was elected to Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and has been a part of various parliamentary committees apart from holding several ministries.

​An influential leader, Chaturvedi’s rebellion is not only dubbed as a jolt to the Congress in Bundelkhand but it is also an outcome of a stiff rivalry between MPCC president Kamal Nath and campaign committee chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia, both vying for the chief minister’s berth.

Veteran Congressman Chaturvedi, a close aide of Jyotiraditya Scindia, had came out of his self-imposed political ‘sanyas’ he announced early this year after completion of his Rajya Sabha term, for making his party victorious. However as things panned out, the 68-year-old ended up as a rebel and fielded his son Nitin as a SP candidate from Rajnagar against ‘Natiraja’, who he had brought into the Congress and helped him emerge victorious twice in the 2008 and the 2013 assembly polls.

Natiraja, who is scion of King Chhatrashal, a valorous Bundela warrior who had established Panna state in Bundelkhand after defeating Mughals in 16th century, had won the poll from Rajnagar in 2003 on a SP ticket. Later, he came in touch with Scindia and Chaturvedi and joined the Congress.

Reportedly, Chaturvedi initially wanted to field his son from Bijawar seat, which ultimately was given to Shankar Pratap Singh, to which Chaturvedi agreed. Another solution was devised that Nitin Chaturvedi would be nominated from Rajnagar and Natiraja would be fielded as the Lok Sabha candidate but later on the three-time MLA backtracked and wished to contest the assembly polls.

The Kamal Nath’s faction denied a ticket to Nitin to weaken Scindia camp and Chaturvedi eventually had to part ways, fielding his son.

With Brahmins being a dominant force in Rajanagar and Satyavrat Chatruvedi no longer by his side, things don’t look that smooth for Natiraja. With the BJP fielding a relatively inexperienced Arvind Pateriya, it more seems a fight between the Congress and the SP.

Pateriya, a native of UP, is settled in the region for a while and it is believed that he earned his nomination from UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s quota.

Meanwhile, locals also claim that the voters are not impressed by the way the Congress, especially the sitting MLA Natiraja, has treated the veteran politician Chaturvedi for a ticket and are seeing this as gross betrayal. Besides, Chaturvedi’s ability to converse with the locals in regional dialect helps him forge connect with them easily.

Moreover, a portion of Chandla seat, earlier represented by Chaturvedi in assembly, also has been tagged in Rajanagar seat during an earlier delimitation exercise and this would give his son Nitin an edge in polls as locals believe that Chaturedi ruled the roost in Chandla before the seat fell into reserved category list.

On contrary, Natiraja, is riding on the reverence his royal lineage invokes among locals and three public rallies Congress president Rahul Gandhi is going to address in the region—Sagar, Damoh and Tikamgarh. The Rajnagar MLA also runs away with the credit of developmental works at Khajuraho, represented by his wife Kavita Singh as Nagar Panchayat president.

As far as SP nominee Nitin is concerned, many believe that he is not blessed with the political acumen, which his father is blessed with, and would have to rely on his father’s persona solely to ensure his victory in the polls.

In this spiced up battle, there is another dark horse, Ghasiram Patel, an influential leader of Kurmis, the former BJP district president who has taken a rebellious path after being denied ticket. With Kurmis being a major vote bank in the constituency, Patel’s future alignment could be decisive for both Natiraja and Nitin Chaturvedi.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat of the state Assemblies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you put on the psephologist's hat. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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