A former RSS pracharak is set to play a decisive role in Dhar,because he has campaigned against the BJP for being more pseudo-secular than the Congress.
Nawal Kishore Sharma is contesting as an independent in a constituency whose victor was decided in 2008 by a margin of just one vote before the court overturned that victory.
The former pracharak was arrested in February this year because he was spearheading a campaign to free Bhojshala,a disputed shrine both Hindus and Muslims call their own. The Hindus say its a Saraswati temple but Muslims insist its Kamal Maula Masjid and the Archaeaological Survey of India allows them to offer prayers on separate days. It gets complicated only when Basant Panchami,when Hindus offer prayer,falls on a Friday.
That happens rarely and last February 15 was one of those rare occasions. Sharma and a couple of organisations were against giving entry to Muslims but he was taken into custody by the administration in the BJP-ruled state,which wanted each community to offer its prayers at a separate time.
Sharma has since alleged that he was tortured by the police and moved the Madhya Pradesh High Court seeking a detailed probe into an alleged attack on his life. He claimed the BJP had offered him a ticket but he spurned it.
I was hurt because the government wanted to appease Muslims and tried to outdo the Congress, Sharma told The Indian Express. I want to teach a lesson to the BJP for betraying the Hindutva cause.
Acharya Dharmendra campaigned in Sharmas support. Hindus are either silent or against the BJP, Sharma claimed,and added,The result will be shocking.
Sharma is unlikely to get many votes because he lacked either the organisational base or the resources but he will play a crucial role along with Prabhu Rathod,another BJP rebel,who in the fray.
The BJPs Neena Varma had won the seat in 2008 by a margin of one vote but Balmukund Gautam of the Congress challenged the decision in court. There were days to go before the 2013 elections were announced when Gautam won the court case. By then the assembly had already held its last session and Gautam did not get to attend even one.