New Delhi, October 20
When the Congress unveiled 88 nominees for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh elections announcing 229 of the 230 candidates for the upcoming elections, sitting Dimani MLA Ravindra Singh Tomar's name stood out.
After careful calculations, the Congress has fielded Ravindra Tomar against BJP heavyweight and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar from Dimani in the Gwalior-Chambal region, making the contest a clash of two Thakurs in a segment dominated by the community.
Ravindra Tomar gained clout in the Congress after defeating Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist Girraj Dandotiya in the 2020 by-election, necessitated after then sitting MLA Dandotiya defected to the BJP along with other Scindia loyalists. Out of 28 by-elections held in 2020 due to defections, the BJP won 19, and the Congress nine. In 2018 state polls, the BJP had won just one of these 28 seats.
"The idea was to make the Dimani fight tough for minister Tomar," said Congress sources citing Ravindra Tomar's 2020 bypoll win from the seat by over 26,000 votes.
For BJP, Dimani is among the seats marked "red". The party last won it in 2008. In 2013, the BSP won the segment and in 2018 it went to Congress's Dandotiya.
Ravindra Tomar bagged it in 2020.
For Narendra Tomar, a three-term Lok Sabha MP, former two-term MLA and ex state BJP president, November 17 would be a make or break election.
Seen as a potential replacement of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Tomar would be expected not only to win his own seat but also influence other seats in the Gwalior-Chambal belt considered weak for the BJP. Of these 34 segments, the Congress had bagged 26 in 2018 emerging the single largest party with 114 seats out of 230.
The BJP had finished close behind the Congress with 109 seats in the previous polls.
In 2013, the BJP had won 20 of Gwalior Chambal belt's 34 seats.
Congress replaces candidate in Scindia bastion
In yesterday's list of 88, Congress named three replacements including for a seat in Shivpuri, a Gwalior royalty bastion. Instead of Shailendra Singh, Arvind Singh Lodhi will now contest from Pichhore in Shivpuri. Congress also replaced Avdhesh Nayak with Rajendra Bharti in Datia opposite state home minister Narottam Mishra who has won thrice from here. Bharti lost by a narrow margin in 2018. From Gotegaon (SC) seat, the Congress has replaced Shekhar Choudhary with sitting MLA Narmada Prajapati.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
Southern districts of Odisha and eastern Telangana continue ...
On camera: Karni Sena chief Sukhdev Gogamedi shot dead at Jaipur home, one assailant killed in exchange of fire
Assailants went to Gogamedi’s house on pretext of meeting hi...
No word on how many ministers would be sworn in and whether ...
'Sachin Pilot's movements, phone were being tracked and monitored', claims outgoing Rajasthan CM Gehlot's OSD
Lokesh Sharma, who was denied a ticket to contest Rajasthan ...
He had called the December 6 meeting of the bloc after the p...