Voters of seven Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh will exercise their franchise on May 6. The seven constituencies are Tikamgarh, Damoh, Khajuraho, Satna, Rewa, Hoshangabad and Betul. All the seats which are going to poll on May 6 are held by the BJP.
Among these seats BJP is facing tough challenge in Damoh and Khajuraho. The challenge is not so much from the opposition but from within the BJP. In Khajuraho the challenge is due to the fact that the BJP has imposed a rank outsider as its candidate. He is V. D. Sharma who has been an active functionary of ABVP and enjoys RSS support. Local BJP workers warned from the very day when Sharma was named candidate that they will not work for the support of Sharma.
The challenge from Damoh is much serious and tough. Ram Krishna Kusumaria had left the BJP and joined the Congress just before the last assembly elections. Kusumaria, many times MP, MLA and Minister walked out of the BJP after he was denied ticket for the assembly. Kusumaria is popular and known as a simple person. Although Kusumaira himself is not contesting election but his support is very crucial and may help Congress to snatch the seat from BJP.
Meanwhile several such developments have taken place which have boosted the prospects of Digvijaya Singh who is contesting from Bhopal. He is being opposed by Pragya Thakur. The first development relates to outright support for Digvijaya Singh by both CPI and CPI(M). General Secretary of the CPI(M) Sitaram Yechuri came to Bhopal and addressed a crowded hall meeting in the presence of Digvijaya Singh. Singh expressed the view that Left support is very crucial for the Congress. He said that if the Left had not severed ties with the UPA the results of 2014 Lok Sabha elections would have been different. In order to save India from the clutches of communal forces, friendship between Left and Congress can play positive role.
The second development was the ban imposed on Pragya Thakur by the Election Commission. Pragya was banned from carrying on election propaganda for 72 hours. She was punished for maligning Hemant Karkare and also making provocative statement about the demolition of Babri Mosque. She boasted that she actively participated in the demolition of Babri Mosque on 6th December 1992. Several organisations including All India Secular Forum through their petitions asked the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to punish Pragya. The CEO apprised the Election Commission with the demand made by various organisations. The Election Commission through its order condemned the objectionable utterances of Pragya Thakur, banned her for campaigning for 72 hours and also warned her not to repeat the “misconduct”. The ban came into effect at 6 am on Thursday.
After inflicting punishment on Pragya, Bhopal Election office served a notice on Pragya’s pamphlet publisher who had allegedly published the pamphlets which Congress party alleged were being circulated by supporters of Pragya Singh Thakur wherein she had levied false allegations against her rival Congress candidate Digvijaya Singh on Friday.
Pragya used ban period by visiting various temples of the city. At every temple she got a captive audience in the form of devotees, most of them women. Pragya and BJP leaders thanked the Election Commission for providing an opportunity to interact with voters without a uttering a word.
Congress again complained against Pragya objecting to two issues, first was campaigning for election despite election commission’s 72 hours ban on her and second circulation of a pamphlet levying false allegations on Congress leaders. Subsequently, CEO VL Kanta Rao sought a report over both the issues from district collector. On Friday another complaint was received and Congress leaders submitted fresh evidence said sources.
“A fresh complaint has been received. A notice has been served to the publisher of the pamphlet and investigations are going on” district collector Sudama Khade told media persons.
Earlier, on Thursday Congress had alleged in their complaint that in a preplanned manner Pragya Singh Thakur released her day’s programme on social media and visited Somvara temple and Gufa Mandir temples.