Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh Congress won five mayoral seats against the ruling BJP's nine in the recently concluded urban body elections, but the win that elated the Opposition the most was undoubtedly the Gwalior mayoral post.
The reason was that the grand old party got to taste a win in Gwalior after nearly seven decades and more importantly this victory was against Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, whose shifting to the BJP had resulted in the fall of the Kamal Nath- led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh in 2020.
Also, the BJP had always won the Gwalior mayoral post, but lost this time despite the Scindia family campaigning for the party's candidate in their home turf for the first time, reports suggest.
The Scindia family has held full sway over the politics of the Gwalior-Chambal division, which includes Morena.
The Congress also won the Morena mayoral seat against the BJP despite the saffron party having two senior politicians from the Gwalior-Chambal division in the Union cabinet -- Jyotiraditya Scindia and Narendra Singh Tomar.
The Congress won the Gwalior mayoral post for the first time in 57 years. There was a myth that the Scindia family could never win this post despite having strong domination in its home turf. Scindia switched to the saffron party, but the myth remained constant.
Like his father, late Madhavrao Scindia, Jyotiraditya also maintained a distance from the local elections in Gwalior, except giving tickets to candidates loyal to the family. This time, Jyotiraditya campaigned for the BJP's candidate Suman Sharma.
During the selection of mayoral candidates, Scindia was strongly backing Maya Singh, whom he address as "mami ji", but the party gave the ticket to Suman Sharma, who is considered close to Tomar and state BJP president V. D. Sharma.
Sources in the BJP told IANS that the party was confident of wining Gwalior, but lost because of factionalism.
"Gwalior's loss has undoubtedly dented the BJP and the party's leadership has taken the issue seriously," a BJP leader said requesting not to be named.
What is interesting is that the mayoral candidates fielded by both the BJP and the Congress had switched from their parties to join the rival unit. The Congress' Shobha Sikarwar, wife of Congress MLA, Gwalior East, Satish Sikarwar, had switched to the Congress from the BJP in 2020.
Similarly, Suman Sharma, the BJP's candidate for the mayoral post, had shifted to the saffron camp from the Congress.
Talking to IANS, Satish Sikarwar said the Congress won in Gwalior because of the strong determination of the party's local workers. After Scindia switched to the BJP, it was said that the Congress has lost ground in Gwalior.
"No doubt, I got support from all sections of people as my family has been in politics for the last several decades, but honestly speaking, we could win the Gwalior mayoral post because of the strong determination of party workers. They had decided to give a message to the BJP that the Congress still has domination in the Gwalior-Chambal division. The entire Congress unit under the leadership of Kamal Nath fought the elections and won," Sikarwar said.
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