Ex-MLA Wins Congress First 'Primary' for Indore LS Seat

Published: 26th February 2014 08:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th February 2014 08:47 PM   |  A+A-


Rahul Gandhi's experiment of choosing Congress candidates for upcoming Lok Sabha polls through the "primaries" system yielded its first result today with a former party MLA emerging as a winner to contest from Indore.

Satyanarayan Patel won the 'primary' for selecting the Congress candidate for the Indore Lok Sabha constituency getting 573 of the 751 votes cast in an internal vote involving party members.

46-year-old Patel's candidature will, however, have to be finalised by the Congress's central leadership, party sources said.

Party primaries -- internal elections for choosing a the candidate -- on the lines of the system in the US is Congress Vice President's pet idea.

"To ensure party worker's direct participation in selecting the candidate for the Lok Sabha polls, 16 seats including Indore have been identified for primaries. Patel won here, getting 573 votes," Congress secretary for Madhya Pradesh Sanjay Nirupam told reporters here.

Patel's rivals Yogesh Yadav got 96 votes while Archana Jaiswal bagged 57 ballots.

Though a total of 1,366 Congress members had registered as voters, only 751 turned up.

An elated Patel said he would work with the senior leaders and workers to end BJP's 25 years long stranglehold over the constituency.

Rahul has reiterated his resolve to replicate the primaries system of choosing candidates with the collective decision of Congress workers in a particular region if the pilot project of holding it in the 16 Parliamentary seats for the forthcoming elections bore fruit.

However, some party leaders like Union minister Beni Prasad Varma have openly voiced reservations over this system.

He did not agree with Rahul's formula for candidate selections, saying that the primary process of selecting candidates in two UP Lok Sabha seats was equivalent to an "auction".

"With all due respect to Mr Rahul Gandhi, I do not agree with this experiment in Sant Kabir Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar Lok Sabha seats. Several Samajwadi workers are becoming voters of the Congress to derail the process,? he said, adding that such experiments were not meant for UP because the party organisation in the state is not strong enough.

BJP's Sumitra Mahajan(70) has been consistently winning from Indore since 1989. She has said she is willing to contest this time too. Patel lost to her by 11,480 votes last time.

Reacting to Patel's victory in the internal election, Mahajan said, "I had defeated him in the last election, but elections are like a battle, and we don't take our opponents lightly."

Patel lost in the Assembly elections last November, failing to retain his traditional Depalpur seat.

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