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First-timer Shankar Lalwani Set to Enter Parliament After Replacing Veteran Sumitra Mahajan in Indore

Lalwani, the former Indore Development Authority chairman, is leading over his nearest rival — Pankaj Sanghvi of the Congress — by over 5.37 lakh votes and is set for a record win.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:May 23, 2019, 5:34 PM IST
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First-timer Shankar Lalwani Set to Enter Parliament After Replacing Veteran Sumitra Mahajan in Indore
Shankar Lalwani is likely to emerge as one of the winners with a very high record margin nationally. (Image credit: Twitter)
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Indore: Long been a saffron citadel, Indore is all set to offer a new leadership after decades as first-timer Shankar Lalwani is moving towards victory in Madhya Pradesh’s commercial capital after several rounds of counting on Thursday.

Lalwani as and when wins would replace none other than eight-time MP and Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who had stepped aside from the race of tickets after the party remained indecisive for a while over her name on grounds of age.

Lalwani, the former Indore Development Authority chairman, is leading over his nearest rival — Pankaj Sanghvi of the Congress — by over 5.37 lakh votes and is set for a record win. He is likely to emerge as one of the winners with a very high record margin nationally.

Lalwani has already broken Mahajan’s record who the 2014 general election by 4.66 lakh votes.

Clearly, Lalwani seems to have gained from the prevailing Modi-wave in 2019 as this was his first direct electoral contest.

His win also ushers in a fresh leadership in Indore BJP which till now was bifurcated between Mahajan and BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya for years.

Lalwani was, initially, not considered a winning candidate due to his lack of experience against Congress’ Pankaj Sanghvi who had been in mainstream politics for decades and had lost to Mahajan by a narrow margin in 1998.

It was also uncertain how much support the rookie can draw from Mahajan and Vijayvargiya camps.

Mahajan’s possible inclination was important for Lalwani, a prominent Sindhi community leader, as the former holds a sizable sway on the Marathi community, which has a large number of voters in Indore.

However, it seems a strong Modi wave saw Lalwani through without any trouble whatsoever.

He was among those who had gone to meet Mahajan after she announced her decision to not contest the Lok Sabha election.

To add, Mahajan had been an MP in Indore since 1989 when she defeated former chief minister Prakash Chandra Sethi.

An election rally of Modi in favour of Lalwani at Indore seems to have done the trick for him, even as Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi failed to turn the large crowd in her gathering into votes.

Though Lalwani faced opposition from within the saffron camp, it seems voters ultimately decided to back Modi and were not affected by the choice of candidates locally.

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