Although sparks flew outside, it was all banter inside the Raisen Collectorate on Friday as the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her Congress opponent Lakshman Singh filed their nominations for the Vidisha seat in Madhya Pradesh.
Ms. Swaraj was accompanied by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his wife Sadhna while Lakshman Singh was accompanied by his wife Rubina, brother and former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh and nephew Jaivardhan Singh, an MLA.
After filing his nomination, Mr. Lakshman Singh told reporters that Ms. Swaraj had neglected the constituency and never spent more than a day here at a stretch.
Addressing a rally Ms. Swaraj told supporters that she “deserved their votes” as she had devoted time and interacted with workers regularly. Both targeted the other party for corruption and mismanagement.
But inside the collectorate both sides greeted each other and Mr. Jaivardhan Singh and Ms. Rubina even sought the blessings of Ms. Swaraj, sources said.
“All of them spoke and exchanged pleasantries. They asked each other personal questions, inquiring about family members,” a government source said.
The Vidisha contest has become interesting after a senior Congress leader from the area, Rajkumar Patel, filed his nomination as an independent. The word on the street is that Mr. Patel, a Kirar OBC, has been deliberately fielded to split the Kirar votes, which mostly go to the BJP as the Chief Minister belongs to that community.