BHOPAL: Wives of not one, but three politicians could be in the fray from different seats in the coming Lok Sabha polls in Madhya Pradesh.
While Priyadarshini, the wife of four-time sitting MP and ex-union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia could contest on Congress ticket from Guna seat, Sadhna Singh, the better half of ex-chief minister and five-time former MP Shivraj Singh Chouhan might be in the fray on BJP ticket from Vidisha seat.
Also, Thakur Surendra Singh 'Shera Bhaiya,' one of the four independent MLAs supporting the Kamal Nath-led Congress government too has announced fielding wife Jaishree Singh from Khandwa-Burhanpur seat of west MP.
Just a few days after local Congress leadership from Guna seat passed a resolution to field Priyadarshini Raje Scindia from Guna seat, if her husband and sitting MP Jyotiraditya Scindia (recently promoted as Congress national general secretary in-charge of West UP) doesn't contest from the seat, Priyadarshini is set to hit the Ground Zero for meetings with women in all eight assembly segments of the parliamentary seat.
During the extensive tour (February 18-26) throughout Guna parliamentary seat (spread in Guna, Shivpuri and Ashok Nagar district) Priyadarshini will address meetings of women in more than 20 development blocks of all three districts.
The Guna Lok Sabha seat which has been won by Jyotiradtiya Scindia since 2002 is considered Gwalior's Scindia royal family's pocket borough, as out of the 20 elections and by-elections held since 1952, its members of the Scindia family, including Vijayaraje Scindia, son Madhavrao Scindia and grandson Jyotiraditya Scindia who have won the seat 14 times.
Around 170 km away from Guna is the saffron citadel Vidisha, presently represented in the lower house of parliament by the minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj. After Swaraj recently making it clear that she won't contest next general elections due to health reasons, former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan (who won the seat five times between 1991 and 2004)) was being seen a frontrunner for the BJP ticket.
But with Chouhan making it public that he doesn't intend to go to Delhi, even after being appointed BJP national vice president recently, the Vidisha district BJP office bearers, spearheaded by Dr Rakesh Jadaun, are running a campaign to field Chouhan's wife Sadhna Singh from the seat.
"We've already conveyed that we want bhabhiji (Sadhna Singh) as BJP candidate from the seat, as if the ex-CM doesn't contest, she would be the best bet for winning from Vidisha by a massive margin. The state party higher-ups have promised us that our demand will be taken up for consideration after March 2," Jadaun told The New Indian Express.
Sadhna, who is the national president of Akhil Bhartiya Kirar Mahasabha (national body of Kirar OBC caste to which Chouhan family belongs) had along with elder son Kartikey campaigned extensively from Budhni seat (one of the assembly seat forming Vidisha parliamentary seat) while then CM husband was busy campaigning for other candidates of BJP across the state in last year's assembly polls.
Around 400 km away in Burhanpur district, the independent MLA Thakur Surendra Singh 'Shera Bhaya,' one of the four independent MLAs, who are supporting the Kamal Nath government, told journalists on Sunday that his wife Jaishree Surendra Singh will contest on Congress ticket from Khandwa-Burhanpur seat, which the Congress has won only once (Arun Yadav in 2009) since 1991.
Singh, who did the giant killing act by defeating state cabinet minister and sitting BJP MLA Archana Chitnis from Burhanpur assembly seat (one of the eight assembly segments of Khandwa-Burhanpur seat) in recent assembly polls, expressed confidence about his Burhanpur district panchayat member wife contesting the LS polls as Congress, after he met with minister Sachin Yadav and Tulsi Silawat on Sunday.
However, sources within Khandwa and Burhanpur district Congress committees said it's just a claim by Singh as part of his pressure tactics to become a minister in the state government.
Only one major politician's wife, perhaps, has so far successfully contested the Lok Sabha polls successfully from MP. Present MP CM Kamal Nath's wife Alka Nath won from Chhindwara seat in 1996, but she vacated the seat next year.
But in the consequent by-election in 1997, Kamal Nath lost to BJP stalwart Sunderlal Patwa. Kamal Nath has represented the Chhindwara LS seat nine times between 1980 and 2014. His son Nakul Nath is being seen as likely successor from the seat in next LS polls.