The upcoming assembly by-poll in Sanwer constituency in Indore is widely seen as a prestige issue of the Bharatiya Janata Party, especially for the Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia where his loyalist Tulsiram Silawat is seeking re-election after resigning from the post in March.
Preparation for the by-election has brought the Gwalior family scion to the doorsteps of his old rival from Madhya Pradesh, Cricket Association (MPCA) and BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.
The two politicians who for years followed diverse political ideologies also came face to face on several occasions during MPCA elections where Vijayvargiya could not defeat Scindia at his ‘home turf’.
Now in the same party, the two are expected to work for ensuring win of Tulsiram Silawat, who is seeking a re-election from Sanwer where he won as a Congress candidate in 2018.
The Sanwer win is crucial for the BJP especially for Scindia whose long-time political disciple, Silawat, is desperate to secure a win and also keep his ministerial berth in Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s government intact.
Scindia had started preparing for Sanwer by-poll during the first phase of lockdown amid covid-19 pandemic. With ‘Maharaj’ showing desperation for his close aide’s win, BJP state unit too has swung into action.
Starting from party state unit head VD Sharma to organisational general secretary Suhas Bhagat, everyone is strategising for a win in the Sanwer constituency.
Meanwhile, Scindia who reached Indore on Monday afternoon among others is scheduled to meet Vijayvargiya at his residence. Vijayvargiya’s clout is an open secret within BJP in Malwa region and his support also holds crucial importance to Silawat’s win in Indore as MLA Ramesh Mendola, a close aide of Vijayvargiya is the in charge of Sanwer constituency for the by-polls.
However, things get a bit complicated here.
Mendola, now a senior BJP MLA was hopeful of a ministerial berth in the Madhya Pradesh government. But due to the BJP opting for Congress rebels as ministers, he was yet again denied the chance and isn’t too happy with the snub.
Meanwhile, Scindia had aggressively retaliated to allegations levelled by his former party on him since he left the grand old party upon his arrival in Indore. “I am only answerable to my inner voice and public and not any former Congress Chief Minister, their leaders and others,” said Scindia. No one should expect anything from Congress party, he added.
The Congress, on the other hand, is planning to field former MP Prem Chand Guddu to contest from the seat. Incidentally, Guddu had left Congress in 2018 and has recently returned. The path for Congress is not smooth as several senior leaders have opposed the move to give Guddu the ticket saying turncoats should not be obliged.
For BJP, Scindia is planning to forge alliances party between Vijayvargiya and former Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s camps to make his candidate victorious.