BJP, Cong lock horns for Khargone bypoll

Bhopal: The June 12 byelection for the Maheshwar Assembly constituency in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh promises to be a keen contest between the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress in the state.

Although there are a total of 12 candidates in fray, the main fight is between Devendra Sadho of Congress and Rajkumar Mev of the BJP.

Devendra`s sister Vijaylaxmi had won from the constituency in 2008 Assembly polls when she had defeated Mev by a narrow margin of 673 votes. The byelection was necessitated after Vijaylaxmi resigned from the seat on being elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Madhya Pradesh BJP president Prabhat Jha had said he was strongly against the idea of MLAs resigning from their seats after getting elected to Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha.

Jha said any MLA who does so betrays the faith of the electorate which had chosen him to represent it in the state Assembly. He said that no MLA should have the right to impose an election on his assembly constituency simply because of he himself wants to move ahead in politics.

Jha expressed confidence that his party would win from Maheshwar just as it had won from Sonkatch after its member, Sajjan Singh Verma had resigned his seat on being elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Congress leaders have yet to begin campaigning in Maheshwar where the BJP has already begun to woo voters. State Commerce and Industries Minister Kailash Vijayavargiya has been made the party in-charge for the Maheshwar byelection.

State BJP media cell in-charge Hitesh Bajpai said, "It was common knowledge that wherever Kailash is made the in-charge, the party has always emerged victorious." The party has already begun preparations to ensure a victory in the Maheshwar byelection, he said.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is scheduled to address a series of meetings in Maheshwar during a three-day campaign tour of the constituency, Bajpai said. "We are confident that following Chouhan`s tour, the mood in Maheshwar would turn in favour of the BJP," he said.

Maheshwar has traditionally been a Congress seat as Vijaylaxmi has won from it four times while her father Sitaram Sadho got elected from there five times.