80-plus seats a hurdle to Congress comeback mission in Madhya Pradesh
BHOPAL: Over 80 seats out of the total 230 could turn to be a major hurdle for the Congress’s mission of coming back to power after 15 years in Madhya Pradesh. While the party has failed to win 50 of these 80-plus seats in the last two-three Assembly polls, as many as 24 seats across 17 districts have not been won by the Congress in the last 25 years (five-six elections), including 1993 and 1998, when the Congress had formed government in the state.
The 24 seats where the Congress has failed to taste victory since 1993 include Harsud and Khandwa seats. MP’s school education minister Kunwar Vijay Shah has been winning from Harsud with ease since 1990.
The list of such seats also include Govindpura in Bhopal, from where former CM and ex-home minister Babulal Gaur has been undefeatable since 1980, and Indore-2 seat which elected Kailash Vijayvargiya from 1993 to 2003 and Ramesh Mendola in the last two polls. The Indore-4 seat has been won by BJP candidates Kailash Vijayvargiya, Lakshmansingh Gaur and his wife Malini Gaur—who is currently Indore mayor—since 1990.
The list also includes Mehgaon seat of Bhind district, Ambah seat of Morena district, Shivpuri and Pohri seats of Shivpuri district, Rehli and Sagar seats of Sagar district, Raigaon and Rampur Baghelan seats of Satna district, Deotalab and Tyonthar seats of Rewa district, Ashtha and Sehore of Sehore district, Ashok Nagar seat of Ashok Nagar district, Maharajpur in Chhatarpur district, Barghat of Seoni district, Jabalpur Cant of Jabalpur district and Sohagapur seat of Hoshangabad district.
The over 50 seats where the Congress has been losing for the last two-three elections are mostly in Malwa-Nimar, Central MP and Mahakaushal regions. All the party’s strategies—fielding last-time losers, fresh faces or even backing independents or regional party candidates—has failed to ensure its victory.
A Congress leader who has been sidelined in the new MPCC team said, “On all these seats, the BJP is not at all invincible. But the Congress in the past has virtually given the saffron party a walkover on these seats or fielded weak candidates.” Party sources said the new team is going to select only winnable candidates on all seats. With tanti-incumbency troubling the BJP, the Congress is hopeful of wresting many of these seats.