Senior Sadhvi proves her might
The last round of aggressive campaigning by ex-chief minister Uma Bharti ensured that her home seat Bada Malhara in Chhatarpur district wasn’t won by Congress’s saffron clad first-time candidate Sadhvi Ram Siya Bharti. Uma Bharti’s focused campaign in the constituency ensured that her handpicked BJP candidate and ex-Congress MLA Pradyuman Singh Lodhi defeated the young kata vachak fielded by Congress. Importantly, the bypoll battle from this Bundelkhand region seat was a prestige affair for Bharti, who had won the seat in 2003, five years after her brother Swami Prasad Lodhi had won it for the BJP.
Three ministers lose in MP bypolls
Even a saffron surge couldn’t prevent three Madhya Pradesh ministers from losing the Assembly bypolls in the Gwalior-Chambal region. One of the losers was Women and Child Development minister Imarti Devi, who was the target of state Congress chief Kamal Nath’s “item” jibe during the campaign trail. The PCC chief had faced flak for his remark. Imarti lost to her close relative and Congress candidate Suresh Raje by over 7,500 votes from Gwalior district’s Dabra which she had won thrice in the past. Minister Giriraj Dandotiya, another Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist, lost from Dimani while senior cabinet minister Aidal Singh Kansana lost from his pocket-borough Sumaoli seat. Importantly, the BJP also lost the Gwalior-East seat, which was Scindia’s home seat.
Har Ghar Diwali initiative for the poor
It would be a memorable Diwali for economically weak sections in Madhya Pradesh, all due to the efforts by the state’s Happiness Department. The department has written to all district collectors to support its ‘Har Ghar Diwali’ concept, which would see happiness clubs in each district distribute sweets, crackers, earthen lamps and clothes in local slums to help people celebrate the festival. Over 400 happiness clubs will ensure the success of this first-of-its kind initiative. In September, the happiness department trained its volunteers on how to make the people “happy”.
BSP plays spoiler for both Congress, BJP
Weeks before the November 3 Assembly bypolls, the state BSP leadership had claimed that it would play the kingmaker’s role after the polls were over. Though the Mayawati-led party failed to even open its account, it certainly acted as a spoiler for the Congress’s prospects on four seats and the ruling BJP’s prospects on one seat. While, the BSP ate Congress votes in Joura, Pohri and Mehgaon seats of Gwalior-Chambal region and Bada Malhara seat of Bundelkhand region, it also helped the Congress win against the BJP at Morena in Gwalior-Chambal region.
Our correspondent in Madhya Pradesh