|HOME | NEWS | ELECTIONS '98 | REPORT|
|February 5, 1998|
Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijay Singh's proxy war
It appears to be a proxy war for Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh as his brother Laxman Singh takes on Bharatiya Janata Party veteran and former chief minister Kailash Joshi in the prestigious Rajgarh Lok Sabha constituency.
By fielding its senior leader against Laxman Singh, the BJP has taken the battle right into the chief minister's home turf.
The contest, though, seems evenly poised. While the Congress nominee has represented the constituency since 1994, the BJP heavyweight enters the fray, after having set an electoral record of winning eight successive assembly elections from Bagli in Dewas district.
A similar move by the BJP last year to field a former chief minister in a traditional Congress stronghold had paid off rich dividends when Sunderlal Patwa defeated Congress stalwart Kamal Nath in Chhindwara.
While the Digvijay Singh government's performance will be a major issue in this constituency, the personalities of both candidates is likely to have its bearing on the voting pattern.
Rajgarh has been with the Congress since 1984, except for a two-year break, when, in 1989, Digvijay Singh lost to the BJP's Pyarelal Khandewal by a margin of 57,000 votes. Singh wrested the seat in 1991.
However, following his election as leader of the Congress legislature party, Digvijay Singh resigned from the Lok Sabha. The seat was retained by his brother Laxman Singh in the 1994 by-election. In the 1996 election, he defeated Khandelwal by a margin of 25,000 votes.
Before his election to the Lok Sabha in 1994, Laxman Singh bagged the Raghogarh assembly seat as a Congress candidate in 1993. But he resigned to facilitate his brother Digvijay Singh's entry to the Vidhan Sabha after the latter was elected as Congress Legislature Party leader. However, the chief minister could not contest the assembly by-election from Raghogarh as a candidate filed a petition, challenging Laxman Singh's election to the assembly in 1993.
Another Congress legislator Shiv Narayan Meena then vacated his Chachhoda seat in Guna district for the chief minister. Digvijay Singh won the by-election and became a member of the assembly.
In 1977, when the Rajgarh constituency was given its present demarcation, Bharatiya Lok Dal nominee Vasant Kumar Pandit won the seat during the anti-Emergency wave. In 1980, he retained it, defeating Congress candidate Mangilal Bhandari.
In 1984, Digvijay Singh was elected from Rajgarh, when he defeated Jamnalal by a margin of 150,000 votes. However, he lost the 1989 election.
INFOTECH | TRAVEL | LIFE/STYLE | FREEDOM | FEEDBACK