By L.S. Herdenia
BHOPAL: “First I was asked to resign from the chief minister ship, then I was ousted from the Cabinet and now I am denied party ticket. I have won from Govindpura ten times with huge margin, twice highest in the state; I have been nursing this constituency like my baby; I am healthy, active, meet hundreds of persons every day, visit the constituency daily and solve even small problems of my voters. How long the party will humiliate me?”
These are some of the comments which Babulal Gaur made at a press conference which he summoned after it became clear that the party has decided to deny him ticket to contest from his traditional constituency. Gaur was prepared to reconcile if the party would have agreed to sponsor Krishna Gaur, his daughter-in-law from his seat. He promoted Krishna and allowed her to participate in active politics after he lost his son.
The party has given tickets to several sons of sitting MLAs, including two ministers – Dr. Gaurishankar Shejwar and Harsh Singh. But the party is denying ticket to Krishna Gaur.
Now the million dollar question is whether Gaur will finally unfurl the flag of revolt. He has indicated in so many words that Krishna will contest from Govindpuara as independent candidate and he himself will contest from some other constituency. If this possibility takes shape it will cause great damage to the BJP. Large number of his admirers are visiting Gaur’s residence and assuring him their unconditional support. Some of them pointed out that the party honours Congress leader Sardar Patel and insults its own veteran. The party leadership is not only insulting Gaur but also never missed an opportunity to humiliate L. K. Advani, who was described as BJP’s Iron man. If Gaur finally decides to contest as independent candidate then history will be repeated. It may be recalled that Gaur was sponsored by a group of non-Congress parties to fight elections as independent in 1974.
Besides Gaur, another former minister has also announced his intention to contest as independent. He is Sardar Sartaj Singh. Along with Babulal Gaur, Sartaj Singh was also ousted from the Cabinet. Sartaj Singh is still very popular in his constituency and if given ticket he will win hands down. Denial of ticket to Sartaj Singh will alienate the Sikh community all over the state.
The BJP suffered yet another setback when Chief Minister Shiv Raj Singh Chouhan’s brother-in-law (wife Sadhna Singh’s real brother) Sanjay Singh Masani joined Congress. Using a cricket analog for the current political situation in the state, Sanjay Singh said that ‘Dhoni’s innings are over and it’s Kohli’s era’.
Masani, who was on his maiden visit to the Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters in Bhopal on Sunday after joining the party said “Shivraj Singh Chouhan ruled Madhya Pradesh for 13 long years, it is high time he makes way for Kamal Nath”.
During his informal interaction with media persons, Masani said that he was highly impressed with Kamal Nath’s ‘Chhindwara model’ of development and it was a major reason for him to cross over to the Congress.
In reply to a question as to why BJP should have given him ticket, he took names of scores of villages belonging to Varraseoni constituency from where he had sought ticket and said he was working among people of the constituency for a long time and his political ambitions were not misplaced.
Congress on Sunday released the second list of 16 candidates. The list, approved by the central election committee and released by AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik includes names of Ram Niwas Rawat (Vijaypur), Baijnath Kushwaha (Sabalgaruh), Rajendra Bharti (Datia), Sidhharth Lada (Shivpuri), Mahendra Singh Yadav (Kolaras), Chandra Prakash Ahirwar (Guna-SC), Gopal Singh Chauhan (Chanderi), Brajendra Singh Yadav (Mungaoli), Vikram Singh Natiraja (Rajnagar), Kamleshwar Prasad Dwivedi (Sidhi), Rambhajan Saket (Devsar – SC), Manoj Malye (Amla – SC), Dr Mahendra Singh Chouhan (Narela), Govardhan Dangi (Biaora), Mukesh Patel (Alirajpur – ST) and Valsingh Meda (Petlawad – ST).
Congress had on Saturday released its first list of 155 candidates to the 230-seat Assembly. Those who were denied tickets revolted against the party after it released its list. The maximum opposition the party is facing from within is being witnessed in Nimad area. Former MLA from Jhabua came out in the open after the son of Kanti Lala Bhuria, MP, was given ticket from Jhabua. Bhuria’s niece, Kalawati Bhuria, has been given ticket from Jobat, where Sulochana Rawat was in the race. Supporters of both the aspirants staged protests. In Vidisha, district supporters of MLA Govardhan Upadhyaya were upset after he was denied a ticket.
Meanwhile, a tribal leader has been sponsored by Congress, which has shocked a section of tribal leaders. Tribal outfit Jaya Adivasi Yuva Shakti that was looking to make an impact in this election is left stunned after its national convenor Hiralal Alawa took a Congress ticket to contest from Manawar seat. JAYS founder member Arvind Mujalda accused him of betrayal.
Some Congress workers in Manawar burned Alawa’s effigy, protesting against ticket being given to an outsider. JAYS leaders were also upset. “The JAYS guidelines say that anyone who gets into politics will be automatically removed from the organisation. Alawa’s joining Congress has come as a shocker for all of us. We will never support him in the assembly elections” said Raju M Solanki, JAYS founder member and Manawar in-charge.
Sensing loss of support, Alawa said, “They all had approached the Congress high command to ask for a ticket but none of them got it. They are just jealous and don’t want to see me grow.”
Vikram Acchaliya, founder member of JAYS, claimed that there were differences between Alawa and other members of the organisation before tying up with the Congress”. Alawa, on the other hand said “I have made them self-dependent. They now have their own set-up and will work for the same cause. The ones who want to contest independently will definitely have my support”, he said.
Asked how he planned to win Manawar, Alawa said, “I did not ask for the seat. It is up to Congress to tackle the infighting”. (IPA Service)