Vijayvargiya-1, Mahajan-0; Sumitraloses fight for son

Vijayvargiya-1, Mahajan-0; Sumitraloses fight for son

Kailash Vijayvargiya

Lok Sabha Speaker and BJP heavyweight Sumitra Mahajan's son Mandar Mahajan failed to secure a party ticket to contest the forthcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh from the Indore 3 constituency in the state.

The ruling BJP instead fielded Akash Vijayvargiya, the son of another prominent leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, the party's national general secretary.

While the denial of ticket to Mandar comes as a surprise, the development is apparently the end result of a turf war between Mahajan and Vijayvargiya.

Vijayvargiya was eyeing the Indore 2 constituency for his son, and according to party insiders, requested the party top brass to shift Ramesh Mendola, who won the seat for the BJP twice since 2008, to neighbouring Indore 3, from where Mandar was keen to contest.

Although the Mahajans lost it to the Vijayvargiyas on Thursday, the party retained Mendola as its candidate in Indore 2, instead awarding Indore 3 to Akash.

Mahajan, an old loyalist of the RSS, is among the heavyweights of the BJP in Madhya Pradesh. She has been elected to the Lok Sabha from Indore eight times since 1989.

Mandar, who is the chief flight instructor of the Madhya Pradesh Flying Club in Indore, was keen to make his electoral debut this time.

However, Vijayvargiya, who was elected to the State Assembly eight times in a row, was also keen to launch his son's political career.

Vijayvargiya was a minister in the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh for 12 years before being inducted to the party's central leadership in 2015.

The conflicting demands by Mahajan and Vijayvargiya had made it difficult for the BJP to announce candidates for several constituencies in and around Indore.

The turf war escalated when the two leaders threw their weight not only behind their sons but also other candidates who showed allegiances to their respective factions.

The party, which has been in power in Madhya Pradesh since 2004, also fielded its veteran leader and former chief minister Babulal Gaur's daughter-in-law Krishna Gaur as its candidate in Govindpura.

The BJP on Thursday announced its candidates for 32 constituencies in Madhya Pradesh, where polling to the 231-member Assembly is due on November 28.

It had earlier announced its candidates for 194 constituencies in the state.