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Indore`s Sumitra `Tai` eyeing 8th straight term in Lok Sabha

PTI | Last Updated: Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 13:07

Indore: Her Lok Sabha debut in 1989 was as sensational as Sachin Tendulkar`s foray into international cricket that year with both taking on formidable opponents and now, though the master batsman has bid adieu to the game, BJP`s Sumitra Mahajan is eyeing a record eighth consecutive term from this constituency.

Fondly known as `Tai`, 70-year-old Mahajan had defeated Congress veteran and former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Prakash Chand Sethi in 1989. In the same year, Tendulkar played his first Test series against Pakistan, which boasted of a bowling attack consisting of the likes of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Abdul Qadir.

Mahajan said she never thought that her innings will be so long.
"Before defeating Sethiji, I was not even thinking about contesting Lok Sabha elections. I had lost assembly elections in 1985 by a thin margin. And when the party decided to field me in the parliamentary election, I was really surprised," Mahajan told PTI.

She said her political journey so far was like the flow of a river.
"It has been 25 years and I am surprised as I am not a political person by nature. All these years have been like the flow of a river. People of Indore have bestowed a lot of love on me and I have been benefited by the organisational strength of BJP in MP," said the former Union minister.

Indore will go to polls on April 24 with Mahajan facing challenge from Congress candidate Satyanarayan Patel and Aam Aadmi Party`s Anil Trivedi, among others. In 2009, Mahajan defeated Patel by 11,480 votes, but this time, she is eyeing a bigger margin.

"We are working very hard this time and our target is to
get the biggest victory margin in the state. I am confident of winning as there is a (Narendra) Modi wave across the country and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has done a lot of work," Mahajan said.

Asked if she felt there was any challenge from the AAP candidate, she said that this contest is mainly between BJP and Congress.

"Though I have not taken any candidate lightly throughout my political career, our fight is with the Congress government at the Centre. People want change and we have promised to provide a corruption-free government.

"People ask me why am I working so hard as they say my victory is certain, but I feel that an election is an election and I take it seriously. We are fighting with a positive attitude," she said.

Comparing the `Atal wave` of 1999 with the current `Modi wave`, she said the latter has spread well with the use of social media and technology.

"Atalji`s time was different, but now everything has changed and we have a lot of media for publicity. It is now easy to approach people through information technology and media and Modiji has used it efficiently while Atalji used to travel a lot to reach the voters," the veteran leader said.

According to Mahajan, Modi has changed people`s perception about him through his work.

"Atalji never faced any kind of protest or opposition while Modiji had to go through all these post-Gujarat riots, but he has changed people`s perception towards him with the development work he has done in Gujarat. I am sure he will also be a very good prime minister as he has got the administrative skills required for that," she said.

First Published: Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 13:07

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