By L S Herdenia
BHOPAL: In a surprise and dramatic move, the BJP shifted MPs including three Union Ministers, asking them to contest for the Vidhan Sabha in Madhya Pradesh in the coming polls. Observers feel that this move has twin objectives. The party feels that this time it is on the shaky ground and thus wanted to field such candidates whose victory is regarded as hundred percent certain. Secondly if it has to change the Chief Minister, experienced leader is available for the post. It is significant that this dramatic change was made when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi departed from Bhopal after addressing poll rallies.
Besides MPs, another surprise inclusion is that of Kailash Vijayvargiya. He has been holding charge of general secretary of the party. Before that he was member of state legislature. In his place his son was given ticket in 2018 assembly elections. Seven MPs are part of the second list of candidates announced by the BJP. Both the first and the second list consist of 37 candidates respectively.
The three Union ministers are Narendra Singh Tomar(agriculture) who also heads the BJP state election management committee, Prahlad Singh Patel (MoS food processing and Jalshakti) and Faggan Singh Kulaste (MoS steel and rural development),. Four Lok Sabha MPs – Rakesh Singh, a former state BJP chief, Ganesh Singh, Riti Pathak and Uday Pratap Singh will also contest the assembly elections due in November.
This list includes at least four names, who have at some time or another been seen as potential CM faces. If the BJP wins, the top post is likely to have multiple contenders. Since 200, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been the only face of the BJP government and organisation.
Tomar has been fielded from Dimni assembly seat in Morena. A state BJP chief for two terms and thrice MP from Gwalior and Morena Lok Sabha seats. Tomar is one of the heavyweights of the Narendra Modi government since 2014 holding key portfolios like rural development and panchayati raj, mines, steel, housing and urban affairs, agriculture and farmers’ welfare. He was a cabinet minister in the state from 2003 to 2008.
Prahlad Singh Patel, who is MP from Damoh, will contest the assembly election from Narsingpur assembly seat, presently represented by his brother and two time MLA Jalim Singh Patel. Prahlad has won Lok Sabha elections five times from Balaghat and Damoh. In 2004 he was fielded against Congress stalwart Kamal Nath in Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency, which he lost by 63,708 votes. Kulaste, a six-time MP from Mandla, has been fielded from the Niwas tribal reserved seat. He is considered BJP’s most prominent tribal face in Madhya Pradesh.
Reacting to the second list of the BJP PCC chief and former Chief Minister Kamal Nath said. The very fact that they have chosen their stalwarts from the Lok Sabha indicates that they have already accepted defeat. He tweeted “BJP, which has accepted defeat in MP has played its last false gamble of hope today. The list of BJP candidates denies the development claim\s of the 18.5 years of BJP government and over 15 years of Shivraj regime.
This list is a sure seal of internal defeat of the party which claims to have crores of workers. It exposes the ‘hollow claims’ of MPs development. He said adding “BJP should realize that people know everything, The public will hold them to account for 18 years of misrule”.
During visit to poll bound Madhya Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched severest attack on Congress. Addressing a mammoth meeting of party workers he compared Congress to rusted Iron and said that if it wins assembly elections it would lead Madhya Pradesh back into a ‘BIMARU’ state. Congress has outsourced everything, from slogans to policies, to urban Naxals.
On his seventh visit to poll bound Madhya Pradesh in six months PM Modi said Congress had transformed India’s ‘Prajatantra to parivartantra (from democracy to dynastic rule). He urged voters to choose development and said “wherever Congress has gone, it has destroyed that state”.
The BJP rally – held on the birth anniversary of BJP patriarch Pt Deendayal Upadhayay – marked the completion of its Jan Ashirwad Yatra that covered 210 of the 230 assembly constituencies in the state.
Calling the opposition INDIA block a ‘ghamandia alliance’ the PM said that Congress and its allies ‘hesitantly’ supported the Women’s Reservation Bill as they had no way out. “They did so because they understood the power of Nari Shakti. In the last nine years, women have been empowered and these parties did not have the courage to oppose the women’s reservation bill. The bill was passed because “Modi means the guarantee of fulfilling guarantees” the PM said.
He criticised Congress for “not allowing the passage of this bill when it was in power at the centre and warned people that he opposition alliance may easily backtrack on it if ‘given the opportunity’. (IPA Service)