Though Gwalior and Guna Lok Sabha seats have been considered as bastions of the royal Scindia family, the BJP with its 'Mission-29' (seats) in Madhya Pradesh has fielded former Bajrang Dal chief Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya from Guna to challenge his powerful rival Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. The ruling BJP zeroed on Pawaiya as he had challenged late Madhavrao Scindia in Gwalior seat in 1998 and reduced the senior Congress leader's victory margin to just 26,000 votes, following which he had shifted to Guna.
Pawaiya has been vociferously opposing what he calls "feudalistic" and "Mahal" (a reference to Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior) politics.
Riding high on the so-called 'Modi wave', Pawaiya, 53, is confident of ending the "Palace rule" in Guna parliamentary seat by highlighting the issue of feudalistic politics. He said he is confident of defeating Scindia in his bastion.
Retaining the victory margin is a major challenge for Scindia, who had won the last Lok Sabha polls with a huge difference of over 2.49 lakh votes.
However, Jyotiraditya, who is seeking to retain the seat for the fourth term, is confident of winning with a sizable margin. "I am sure that people of the region will enhance by victory margin because of development works carried out in various fields in the constituency," Jyotiraditya, 43, said, The Union Minister had first contested the by-poll from Guna after his father's demise in a plane crash in 2002. He retained the seat in 2004 and 2009 with huge margins.
Since 1952, as many as 17 parliamentary elections were held in Guna, out of which a member of the Scindia family had won 13 times while once in 1984, Mahendra Singh Kalukheda who is close to the erstwhile rulers won the polls on a Congress ticket. In 1952, 1962 and 1967, nobody from the Scindia family had contested polls.
In 1957, for the first time a member of Scindia family late Vijayaraje Scindia, popularly known as 'Rajmata', had won the polls on Congress ticket, while in 1970 she won as an independent candidate. In 1989, 1991, 1996 and 1998, Vijayaraje won from Guna representing the seat for a total of six times.