Raghogadh Assembly constituency in Guna district of Madhya Pradesh is the stronghold of Congress leader Digvijaya Singh’s royal family. For the 17 November Assembly election the Congress has re-nominated the sitting MLA and Digvijaya Singh’s son, Jaivardhan Singh. In the past 10 Assembly elections, either Digvijay Singh or his kin have been elected from the constituency.
The BJP has fielded Hirender Singh Bunty Banna against the two-time MLA Jaivardhan Singh who beat his rival by 46,697 votes in the 2013 election. Bunty, a former Congress worker, had joined the BJP in 2021 along with the supporters of Jyotiraditya Scindia. He quit the Congress due to friction with Digvijaya Singh. Poor road infrastructure, unemployment and healthcare are some of the issues that the voters in the constituency want to be addressed on priority. Power shortage and high crime rate also are a cause of concern for a section of voters. Jaivardhan, who served as the Urban Development and Housing minister in Kamal Nath’s 15-month government, had won his first Assembly election from this seat in 2013.
The political temperature in Indore-1 Assembly constituency has been rising ever since the BJP named party veteran and national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya as its candidate. The BJP stalwart, who was initially reluctant to fight the election, now has to prove his mettle by unseating the Congress’s sitting MLA Sanjay Shukla. The BJP veteran comes with a reputation of being “invincible”. He has never lost an election in his four-decade-long electoral career and served as MLA on six occasions between 1990 and 2013 from different constituencies in Indore district. The voters in the district want development to be taken to the next level and seek better crime control. Constituency observers say the stage is set for a perfect clash over the Hindutva plank. While Shukla, 47, is a regular in offering community meals for Hindu devotees, his BJP rival Vijayvargiya, 67, is a devotional song singer.
Indore-1 constituency is the state’s fourth most populous seat with 3,63,805 electors. In 2018, Shukla defeated Sudarshan Gupta of the BJP by a margin of 8,163. Shukla had got 1,14,555 or 50.24% of the votes while the BJP candidate got 1,06,392 or 46,66% votes. Indore district has nine Assembly seats out of which six have a BJP MLA and three are with the Congress. Indore-1 seat was won by the BJP in 2003, 2008 and 2013 but in 2018 Congress contestant Shukla broke the BJP’s winning streak. Observers say that for Vijayvargiya, the challenge is not just from his Congress rival but also from local party leaders and ticket aspirants whose chances the party has spoilt by giving him the ticket.