BHOPAL: Out of the seven Lok Sabha seats going to the polls on May 6 in Madhya Pradesh, two seats — Satna and Rewa — were won by the BJP in the Assembly elections held five months ago. The BJP, which suffered major reverses in its citadel Malwa-Nimar and Gwalior-Chambal region, clinched unprecedented success in 16 Assembly segments of the two LS seats of Vindhya region, winning 14 assembly seats.
While the BJP won six out of eight Assembly seats in the Satna LS seat— a BJP bastion since 1998— it also won all eight assembly seats forming the Rewa LS constituency in November 2018 Assembly polls.
In 2014, sitting BJP MP Ganesh Singh won for the third time, defeating Congress strongman Ajay Singh.
In Rewa, however, riding the Modi wave, BJP’s Janardan Mishra wrested the seat from the BSP by defeating Congress candidate Sunderlal Tiwari by 1.68 lakh votes in Assembly polls.
Both Mishra and Singh are again contesting as BJP candidates from Rewa and Satna respectively. According to political analyst Vishnukant Tripathi, BJP is battling anti-incumbency in both seats, particularly Satna, where Congress’ Rajaram Tripathi, is eyeing consolidation of upper caste (Brahmin) votes.
In Rewa, the Congress has fielded Siddharth Tiwari, son of ex-MP Sunderlal, who died a few months back. With Siddharth being Sunderlal’s son and ex-MP Vidhan Sabha Speaker Late Sriniwas Tiwari’s grandson, the Congress is banking on sympathy votes.
In Satna, three-time sitting MP Ganesh Singh, who faces anti-incumbency is banking on the power of OBC votes combined with SC/ST voters (who backed BJP in 2018) to turn the tide. However, Singh is not only confronted by the consolidation of upper caste votes but also apprehension among his ranks about sabotage, particularly by those related to BJP MLAs, Narayan Tripathi (Maihar) and Vikram Singh (Rampur Baghelan).