Bhopal: Facilitated by the “pro-Modi wave”, the BJP swept Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh by winning 28 out of 29 seats and maintained unassailable leads in 19 other constituencies.
The Congress retained Chhindwara, considered the pocketborough of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath. Mr Nath had vacated the constituency for his son Nakul, who won by a margin of over 38,000 votes against his nearest BJP rival Tanat Shah.
AICC general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia lost in Guna, which was held by his family for 52 years. He was defeated by his nearest rival and BJP candidate K. P. Yadav, who was his secretary in his parliamentary constituency until six months ago. Mr Yadav, who switched over from Congress to the BJP barely one week before he was nominated for Guna, was incidentally a key campaign strategist for Mr Scindia in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in the constituency.
Guna was considered the fort of the Scindias, the royal family of Gwalior. Vijayaraje Scindia, Mr Scindia’s grandmother and one of the founders of Jan Sangh, had won the seat in 1957 after which it was represented by Mr Scindia’s father, the late Madhavrao Scindia. Mr Scindia had been holding his position in the constituency since 2002.
Congress veteran Digvijay Singh, two-time Chief Minister of undivided Madhya Pradesh, lost to BJP’s Pragya Singh Thakur, a political greenhorn, in Bhopal by over three lakh votes.
Former Union ministers Kantilal Bhuria and Arun Yadav suffered massive defeats in Ratlam and Khandwa. Their respective BJP rivals G S Damor and Nand Kumar Singh Chouhan maintained unassailable leads over them.
In Indore, where AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi staged a road show, BJP candidate Shankar Lalwani defeated his Congress rival Pankaj Singvi by a record margin of over 5 lakh votes. The seat was represented by the outgoing Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan nine times in a row. She has now been replaced by Mr Lalwani.
Prominent among the BJP leaders who maintained impregnable leads over their respective nearest rivals were Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar and former state unit president of BJP Nand Kumar Singh Chouhan.
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