25 July, 2021

M.I.A...The Lost Files

M.I.A...The Lost Files

Much of the discourse over the BJP’s electoral strategy in Madhya Pradesh has, lately, revolved around its outrageous choice of candid­ate for the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat­—Malegaon blasts accu­sed Sadhvi Pragya Thakur. But, there’s something more bizarre about the nominees the saffron party has fielded from the state that has been dubbed the Sangh Parivar’s oldest political laboratory. For the first time in nearly three decades, the BJP’s list doesn’t feature a single high-profile leader, nor any warhorse with a proven record of winning.

Though Atal Behari Vajpa­yee’s electoral legacy is largely identified with the Lucknow seat he won five times, he was also elected to the Lok Sabha twice from MP. Jana Sangh leader and later BJP founding member Vijaya Raje Scindia served multiple Lok Sabha terms between 1971 and 1998. Sumitra Mahajan, the longest-serving woman MP in Parliament, was the BJP’s victor from Indore for eight terms in a row until 2014. Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was elected MP from...

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