Cong list in Madhya Pradesh: Seven who lost in 2009, others are sitting MPs

In Madhya Pradesh, only 16 of 95 Assembly segments of sitting MPs saw Cong candidates being elected in the recently concluded Assembly elections.

Chandrakant Naidu March 15, 2014 10:44:09 IST
Cong list in Madhya Pradesh: Seven who lost in 2009, others are sitting MPs

The Congress is busy dousing resentment in the ranks in Madhya Pradesh after the release of the candidates’ list for the Lok Sabha elections. Some aspirants are disappointed as the party preferred to bet largely on old horses. Short of options to choose possible winners in the present scenario, the party has reposed faith in seven members who lost the elections in 2009 besides offering tickets to eight of the 11 sitting members.

Cong list in Madhya Pradesh Seven who lost in 2009 others are sitting MPs

Jyotiraditya Scindia. AFP

The party has a tough battle ahead to overturn the verdict handed to it during the Assembly elections. The party had no winners in 15 of the 51 districts. Just 16 of the 95 assembly segments in the parliamentary constituencies of the current MPs returned Congress candidates.

Besides having to defend his Khandwa seat the new leader of the PCC Arun Yadav faces multiple challenges even without being able to form his team. He is carrying on with the legacy of his predecessor Kantilal Bhuria.

Unlike in the Assembly elections most senior party leaders would be confined to their own areas. Bhuria who presided over the defeat of all eight candidates in his constituency of Ratlam will not be available for other constituencies. The same holds good for Jyotiraditya Scindia who will face a concerted effort from the BJP in Guna. Another senior leader Kamalnath is also facing a tough battle with Choudhari Chandrabhan Singh who has the advantage of an anti- Congress sentiment.

Embarrassed after the defection of former IAS officer and its candidate for Bhind, the party has withheld tickets for five seats. Prasad claimed the Scindia faction would have ensured his defeat if he had stayed put in the Congress. There is also no decision on the Vidisha seat where the leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj is the BJP candidate.

The Congress released the names for two more constituencies of Mandla and Hoshangabad and promptly invited fresh rebellion. Denied re-nomination from Mandla Basori Singh Masram claims that his replacement Omkar Markam the MLA from Dindori assembly segment would forfeit his security deposit.

Rao Udaypratap Singh who quit his Lok Sabha and Congress membership in November to join the BJP is the ruling party nominee. The Congress wants to settle scores with the BJP which is facing protests over Singh. It has fielded a lesser known Devendra Patel from the constituency and hopes to harness the anger against Rao. The presence of the Aam Aadmi Party candidate Maya Vishwakarma, a NRI backed by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) makes the contest keener.

Among the surprises is the selection of former Additional Solicitor General of India, Vivek Tankha (Jabalpur). Hina Kanware (Balaghat) the 27-year-old post-graduate and a first term MLA from Lanji is also suddenly in the limelight as a candidate for Lok Sabha. She is apparently the kind of youth Rahul Gandhi wants to bear the party flag. By re-nominating sittings MPs – Arun Yadav (Khandwa), Jyotiraditya Scindia(Guna), Rajesh Nandini Singh (Shahdol), Kamalnath (Chhindwara), Sajjan Singh (Dewas), Premchand Guddu (Ujjain), Meenakshi Natarajan (Mandsaur) and Kantilal Bhuria(Ratlam) the party has put an end to the speculation over shuffling of some candidates.

Rahul Gandhi’s confidante Meenakshi Natarajan and the Indore candidate Satyanarayan Patel were selected through local surveys on the lines of the primaries which the party conducted the first time. Patel will be taking on Sumitra Mahajan the former union minister who has not lost from Indore for 25 years. Patel has been chosen despite having lost the assembly election in November by over 30,000 votes. Dr Kamleshwar Singh who earlier contested an election in Uttar Pradesh is fielded from Tikamgarh this time to face BJP old-timer Virendra Khatik.

The party is yet to take a call on sitting MPs Narayan Singh Amlave (Rajgarh) and Gajendra Singh Rajukheri (Dhar).
The selections reflect the domination of Digvijaya faction. Though six of his supporters figure in the list some are still sulking. The former leader of the opposition and sitting MLA Ajay Singh is being considered from Satna. Ajay Singh wanted to contest from Sidhi but the party has preferred to give another chance to Indrajit Patel. Singh’s supporters are opposing Patel. Digvijay Singh’s indifference is showing. He has stayed away from the scene for nearly a month.

According to local reports the Congress has asked young party workers from different states to manage booths at the micro level on at least 15 seats where the margin of victory or defeat was less than 20000 votes. The Youth Congress workers from the state would assist the team monitored by central observers.

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