Nothing could prevent the Guna Lok Sabha constituency from slipping out of the hands of incumbent Member of Parliament and senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia. In the Lok Sabha election, the BJP’s Krishna Pal Singh, also known as Dr KP Yadav, won from the seat. The pull of the Scindia dynasty, its connect with the constituency, Jyotiraditya Scindia's proximity to Congress president Rahul Gandhi and the presence of a Congress-led government in Madhya Pradesh — all these factors put together failed to help the Congress party in retaining one of its most trusted seats in Madhya Pradesh.
Guna has gone back to the BJP after two decades, even though the saffron party's candidate was an outsider. The BJP had last won the seat in 1999, when Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia — Jyotiraditya’s grandmother — was the MP. After that, her son Madhavrao Scindia won as a Congress candidate. Thereafter, Jyotiraditya became MP in 2002, after his father Madhavrao’s death in a plane crash in September 2001.
Except for intermittent phases, Guna seat had been with the Scindia family since 1957, when Rajmata won as a Congress candidate for the first time.
There was no looking back for Jyotiraditya after his first win in 2002. Even in the 2014 election, despite the Modi wave, he successfully retained his seat – he was one of only two Congress candidates to have won from Madhya Pradesh. The other one was Kamal Nath from Chhindwara.
After the BJP lost the Assembly election in 2018, it was expected that the Congress would improve its tally in the state in the Lok Sabha election. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath had said that the party would win 22 seats. Little did he realise that the Congress would virtually be wiped out from Madhya Pradesh. The only face saving for Congress is the chief minister’s son Nakul Nath, who won from Chhindwara.
The Congress was hoping to add to its existing tally of three seats (Ratlam was won in a bypoll); instead it is set to lose both Guna and Ratlam.
Jyotiraditya is no lightweight in the Congress. As a result of the crucial role he played in the Congress victory in the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, he was appointed in-charge of western Uttar Pradesh to campaign for the Congress party for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
What went wrong?
Out of eight Assembly segments in Guna constituency, five are with the Congress. However, this also failed to help Scindia. Within three months of the Congress having formed the government in the state, voices of dissatisfaction have started emerging. Unscheduled power cuts, like the ones seen during Digvijaya Singh's tenure, have returned.
Sheo Pratap Singh, a farmer from Mungaoli, said, "People in this constituency have lot of respect for maharaja (Jyotiraditya), but for the development and security of India, we need Modi as prime minister. The defeat of the BJP in the Assembly election was unexpected, and people of the state regretted it. This time, people decided to ensure the BJP’s victory.
On the whole, semi-urban and rural voters in the constituency appear to have backed Narendra Modi for the post of prime minister.
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Updated Date: May 24, 2019 20:27:48 IST