In order to give a tough fight to BJP in Vidisha, which has been its stronghold since the last 25 years, Congress has fielded party General Secretary Digvijay Singh's younger brother and former MP Laxman Singh. (Agencies)
Sushma had won the Lok Sabha polls from Vidisha in 2009 with a huge margin of 3,89,844 votes by defeating Samajwadi Party's Choudhary Munnawar Salim in the absence of any challenge from Congress.
"I am confident that the people of Vidisha will enhance my victory margin to over four lakh votes (this time) as I have shouldered my responsibility as an MP with full dedication and honesty," Sushma said during campaigning.
In 2009, Patel's nomination was rejected on technical grounds at the eleventh hour, following which he was expelled from the party for six years and re-admitted recently when he had filed his papers as an independent candidate from Vidisha seat.
Sushma is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that her victory margin is enhanced to over four lakh votes in 2014 and party leaders, including Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan are campaigning in the constituency with full vigour.
Vidisha Lok Sabha seat came into existence in 1967 and since 1989 BJP has won it nine times, while Congress bagged it twice in 1980 and 1984.
Laxman Singh, too, had been an MP for five terms from his traditional Rajgarh seat, four time on Congress ticket and once from BJP when he had joined saffron party after differences with his brother Digvijay Singh.
Singh targeted Sushma for not spending much time in the constituency ever since she had won the polls from here in 2009. "I like to accept challenges in life and I am sure that
I will win this poll," Laxman Singh said.
Vidisha, which has traditionally been a BJP bastion, has elected in the past a number of stalwarts, which include Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Rajmata Vijyaraje Scindia, Ramnath Goenka, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raghavji.
Chouhan had also contested and won the Vidisha seat for five terms before becoming the Chief Minister. Sushma had contested from Vidisha for the first time in 2009.
The Chief Minister's constituency- Budhni and his ancestral village Jait also fall under the Vidisha Lok Sabha seat and therefore, Chouhan has made it a prestige point to ensure that Sushma wins from here with a huge margin.
Patel's withdrawal from the poll fray seems to have also made things difficult for the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha. Patel belongs to Kirar caste which has a decisive vote bank in Vidisha constituency. Now the votes of the Kirar community are most likely to help the Congress nominee.
Vidisha constituency comprises eight assembly segments and in November 2013 Assembly polls, BJP had bagged six while Congress had managed to win two seats.
Chouhan had contested from Budhni and Vidisha and won from both the places. But after the results he retained Budhni which resulted in a by-poll in Vidisha Assembly seat which will also be held along with the Lok Sabha polls tomorrow in the third and last phase of polling in Madhya Pradesh.
In order to give a tough fight to BJP in Vidisha, which has been its stronghold since the last 25 years, Congress has fielded party General Secretary Digvijay Singh's younger brother and former MP Laxman Singh.