Madhya Pradesh Assembly Polls 2018: From dynasts to turncoats, BJP and Congress give tickets to 'winnable' candidates
Here is the complete list of BJP and Congress candidates contesting the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections.
Both the BJP and the Congress declared their final list of candidates for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections on Thursday. In their respective lists, both parties have dropped some sitting MLAs, former and current ministers and political heavyweights in favour of new faces and political turncoats, citing winnability as their key criteria to grant tickets.
The BJP finished off its ticket distribution process by revealing the names of candidates on last six seats in its fourth list. The party also dropped state minister and sitting MLA from Panna, Kushum Mehdele and replaced her with party leader Brijendra Singh. Singh's original seat Pawai has been given to Prahlad Lodhi, who had earlier filed nominations on a Samajwadi Party ticket.
Meanwhile, the Congress wrapped up the nomination process by releasing its sixth list of candidates. It chose former Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Arun Yadav to take on Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in his home turf Budhni, from where he has won three consecutive elections. While Yadav may not be as big a political name as Chouhan, his last-minute nomination has served two purposes for Congress, which is hoping to regain power after 15 years. Firstly, it placated Yadav, who was miffed at his unceremonious ouster after Kamal Nath took charge of MPCC; he had even met Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. Secondly, reports say that the Congress candidate may keep Chouhan engaged in his home turf as the Yadav community accounts for nearly twice the number of votes as compared to Kirars, an OBC community to which the chief minister belongs. Party heavyweights, Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia — touted as front-runners in the race of chief ministership should Congress come to power — have all decided to sit out the Assembly elections.
Thursday's announcement also culminated the infighting for tickets in both parties. The internal feud for tickets even saw some last minute shift of loyalties to gain a chance to contest polls. While BJP veteran Sartaj Singh, a one-time Cabinet minister and a grassroots leader, opted for a Congress ticket from Hoshangabad after the 'forced-retirement' by his party; former MP from the grand old party, Premchand Guddu switched over to the saffron side. Guddu's son Ajit Bourasi too joined the BJP, prompting the party to roll back the name of its candidate from Ghattiya (SC) seat in Ujjain district and field Bourasi instead.
Whereas, three former legislators of the ruling BJP – Sanjay Sharma, Padma Shukla and Abhay Mishra – have been given Congress tickets
Another name to have ruffled feathers by joining Congress was of Sanjay Singh Masani, brother-in-law of Chouhan. Masani has been fielded from Baraseoni Assembly seat in the Naxal-hit district of Balaghat. He is said to have been seeking a BJP ticket from the constituency since 2013, although, ironically he charged the saffron party of following nepotism in ticket distribution as he joined Congress.
However, both parties indeed seem to have reposed their faith in dynastic politics alike. While the BJP has fielded former MP chief minister Babulal Gaur's daughter-in-law Krishna Gour from Govindpura to pacify the veteran leader, the Congress gave tickets to the brother, nephew and son of Digvijaya Singh — also a former chief minister.
The BJP also fielded its national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya's son Akash Vijayvargiya from the Indore-3 seat. Congress picked another former state chief minister Arjun Singh's son Ajay Singh to contest the election from Churhat seat. Digvijaya's son Jayavardhan Singh has been given ticket from Raghogarh, while his brother Lakshman Singh will contest from Chachoura seat. His nephew Priyavrat Singh has been fielded from Khilchipur. Congress' prominent tribal face from Jhabua-Ratlam, Kantilal Bhuria also managed tickets for his son Vikrant Bhuria and two other relatives, Kalawati Bhuria and Veer Singh Bhuria.
Here is the complete list of BJP candidates contesting Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections 2018.
Here is the complete list of Congress candidates contesting Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections 2018.
Polling for 230 seats of Madhya Pradesh Assembly will be held on 28 November and the results will be announced on 11 December. While the BJP is going it alone on all 230 seats that will go to polls, the Congress has fielded 229 candidates and left the Jatara seat for its ally Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD). One member is nominated in the 231-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly.