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AAP’s MP president hopes to leadthe party’s debutin Assembly

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The Singrauli constituency has been a stronghold of the BJP which has been in power for almost a decade.

BHOPAL

If there is an Assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh that is going to witness a serious triangular fight, it is Singrauli. It is also the seat from where the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is most hopeful of entering the legislature with a big margin. The Singrauli constituency has been a stronghold of the BJP which has been in power in this coal and mineral mining hub for almost a decade, but the saffron party’s waning influence has encouraged the AAP to register a big upset in the coming election.


In 2018, AAP’s contestant Rani Agrawal stood third in the election, but since then she has tried to remain in contact with the electorate by serving them in the capacity of Singrauli’s mayor. She comes from a politically influential family, with her father-in-law Ramniwas Agrawal having served as president of the Devsar Janpad Panchayat for decades. In terms of revenue, the Singrauli Municipal Corporation is the second-richest civic body in the state behind Indore. Singrauli district is also the state’s primary source of power. AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann held a roadshow in Singrauli on 2 November, urging voters to back their beloved Mayor Rani Agrawal. It will be Rani’s second straight MLA election from the seat on November 17 as she could not win in the 2018 contest. Water shortage, joblessness, inflation and poor health infrastructure remain key concerns for the constituency’s voters, many of whom continue to benefit from the central government’s free ration scheme and the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government’s Ladli Behna monthly payout.


For the 17 November election, sitting MLA RamLallu Vaishya has failed to get a renomination from the BJP. The BJP has named Ram Niwas Shah as its candidate against Congress’ Renu Shah and AAP nominee Rani Agrawal.


Agarwal is by far the tallest of AAP leaders in Madhya Pradesh. The AAP not only won the mayor’s post in local body elections last year but also occupied 50 corporator posts. AAP’s success in civic elections was linked to anger among Vaishya and Brahimin voters against the BJP. In the coming Assembly election also, these communities along with Sahu and Dalit voters are likely to decide the fate of candidates.


In 2018, Ramlallu Vaishya of the BJP won the seat by defeating Renu Shah of the Indian National Congress with a margin of 3,726 votes. Vaishya had got 36,706 votes while Renu Shah had got 32,980 votes. AAP’s Rani got 32,167 votes—some 813 votes less than the Congress candidate.


The Singrauli Assembly constituency comes under the Sidhi Lok sabha constituency. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Riti Pathak won from Sidhi Lok Sabha (MP) Seat with a margin of 2,86,524 votes by defeating Ajay Arjun Singh of the Congress.

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