Congress struggles to find winnable candidates in Madhya Pradesh
New Delhi, March 16: Though the Congress has formed the government in Madhya Pradesh after a long gap of 15 years, it is struggling to find winnable candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The Screening Committee meeting expressed concern over a fact that the Congress has not won Lok Sabha elections from many famous seats in Madhya Pradesh for a long time.
There are at least 10 Lok Sabha seats out of total 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh where the party is finding it difficult to field strong candidates against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Congress has lost eight consecutive Lok Sabha elections from Bhopal and Indore. It has also not won Jabalpur seat from last six elections. Vidisha has also been a bastion of the BJP and has been registering win from last 10 Lok Sabha elections. Vidisha sent former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee once, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan five times, and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj twice to the Lok Sabha.
Though the Congress would never say, it has lost hope of winning the Vidisha seat.
The Congress had won Hoshangabad seat in 2009 after six straight defeats but its MP Uday Pratap Singh bid adieu to the grand old party and won the seat in 2014 as a BJP candidate.
The BJP won the Ujjain seat continuously from 1989 to 2004. The Congress won the seat in 2009 but the BJP again snatched it from the Congress in 2014.
The Congress has lost eight Lok Sabha elections from Bhind since 1989. It is also one of the bastions of the BJP. Sagar is another Lok Sabha constituency where the Congress has lost and the BJP has won six straight elections since 1996.
The Congress had won the last election from Rewa in 1999 after a gap of 15 years. The BJP won Rewa seat in 2004 and 2014 General elections.
The Congress is also not in a better position in Dhar and Sidhi Lok Sabha seats.
In the absence of strong and winnable candidates, the Congress is mulling to even field those candidates who have lost assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
In 2014, the Congress managed to win only two seats, but it was not considered as the party victory but of the candidates. Jyotiraditya Scindia had won Guna and Kamal Nath from Chhindwara Lok Sabha seats. Guna is the bastion of Scindia and Chhindwara of Kamal Nath, who has now become Chief Minister.