Bhopal: The Dewas parliamentary seat of Madhya Pradesh is witnessing an interesting battle between a folk singer and former judge. The Schedule Caste reserved seat is going for polls in the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 19 with seven other parliamentary seats of the state. The state has 29 seats and polling on 21 seats had been concluded in the last three phases of voting.
The Congress has fielded noted folk singer, Padma Shri Prahlad Singh Tipaniya, while the BJP has given ticket to Mahendra Singh Solanki, who resigned from the post of civil judge to enter into the political fray.
There are 17,50,498 voters in Dewas constituency, of which 9,06,724 are men and 8, 41,032 are women. The constituency came into existence after the delimitation of 2008 and is spread across three districts, Dewas, Sehore and Shajapur. It includes eight Assembly segments – Ashta (SC), Agar (SC), Shajapur, Shujalpur, Kalapipal, Sonkatch (SC), Dewas and Hatpipaliya – of which three are reserved for the Scheduled Caste category candidates.
Prahlad Singh Tipaniya, 65, has been seen trying to woo voters by reciting Kabir bhajans in the Malwi folk style while playing his 'tambura' (a stringed instrument with a long neck).
When Congress president Rahul Gandhi arrived in Shujalpur area of Dewas Lok Sabha constituency on Saturday for campaigning, he sang one of his popular folk numbers from the dais.
This may have happened for the first time in elections that a candidate sought votes by singing folk songs from the dais instead of giving lengthy speeches and making tall promises.
"I have joined politics to generate positive thinking among the public, and the folk music can help in this direction," Tipaniya said, addressing the rally. The internationally acclaimed singer has promised that if he wins the election, he will make all efforts to ensure the supply of basic amenities to people and also work to promote folk singers.
On the other hand, BJP candidate Mahendra Singh Solanki has been seeking votes by highlighting the achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government's stand on national security.
Before entering politics, Solanki was serving as a civil judge but resigned to contest from Dewas seat.
"When I was serving as a judge, I could hear the grievances of only those who came to my court. But after entering politics, my area of public service has widened. As a politician, I can reach out to more deprived and oppressed people and work to resolve their problems," the 35-year-old BJP nominee said.
The constitutency which was created after 2008 delimitation was first won by the Congress in 2009. Sajjan Singh Verma was the first MP from the seat. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP candidate Manohar Untwal won the seat by a margin of 2,60,313, which is 22.8% votes.
Untwal also successfully contested the last year's state Assembly polls from Agar seat, following which, he quit as a member of the Lok Sabha.