By L S Herdenia
BHOPAL: The day poll programme for five states including Madhya Pradesh was announced speculation about chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also ended. The BJP leadership finally assigned his traditional seat to him. As already known¸ polling in Madhya Pradesh will take place only on one day that is November 17 and the result will be announced on December 3. The BJP list for Madhya Pradesh also ended guesswork about giving tickets to Scindia loyalists.
As for Shivraj Singh is concerned he was not sure whether he will get another opportunity to enter Vidhan Sabha. Being not very certain he told the crowd in his public meeting whether they like him to become Chief Minister and he will ask then to tell him how he administered the state in the last 18 years. Now with the inclusion of his name in the party list he need not ask this question.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will contest from his home turf Budhni – a seat he has represented five times since 1990. The fourth list mainly has sitting ministers and senior MLAs who have been fielded again from their respective constituencies.
So far the party has announced candidates for 136 of the 230 seats. Congress is yet to open it’s cards. CM Chouhan thanked BJP central leadership and took a dig at Congress, saying “We have come out with four lists, and will soon release the final one, but where is Congress’s list? Our candidates are in the field but Congress is struck in limbo”.
One of the keenly watched aspects of the BJP list are the names of Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists. There was reason for the smiles in the Scindia camp as several ministers were named – Tulsiram Silawat from Sanver, Pradyumna Singh Tomar from Gwalior, Govind Singh Rajput from Surkhi, Bisahulal Singh from Anuppur, Dr. Prabhuram Chouhary from Sanchi, Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon from Badnawar and Hardeep Singh Dang from Suvasra. But four weren’t.
“After announcement of election dates, there’s a new joy and enthusiasm among party workers, which is proof that all our heroes are ready to show their strength in this election season”, Scindia tweeted.
Twenty four ministers of the 34-member Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet have been fielded. The names of four ministers belonging to Scindia faction, who quit Congress in March 2020, are missing – panchayat minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia, MoS for PHE Brijendra Yadav, PWD MoS Suresh Dhakkar and MoS urban development OPS Bhadoria.
Ministers of the ‘original’ BJP including Usha Thakur, Inder Singh Parmar, Ram Khelawan Patel and the latest addition to the cabinet in August Gauri Shankar Bisen, did not figure in this list.
Minister for sports Yashodhara Raje Scindia, who is sitting MLA from Shivpuri, is not in the list as she had written to the organisation that she will not be able to contest because of health reasons. There is intense speculation that Jyotiraditya Scindia, his nephew, may be fielded from Shivpuri.
Two other ministers who were inducted into the cabinet in August have been fielded from their seats – Rajendra Shukla from Rewa and Rahul Singh Lodhi from Kharagapur.
Senior BJP leaders said that if the name of a minister has not been included in the fourth list, then they may not be fielded in the later lists either. “The first list was of constituencies which the party considers hard-to-win Congress bastions. The second list was to field the heavyweights leaders from the Centre. The third list was but one name – new entrant Monika Batti, who has been fielded from tribal-reserved Amarwara seat”.
The party has reposed its faith on all its four incumbent MLAs from Bhopal in its fourth list. With this¸ of the seven seats in Bhopal the BJP has named its candidates for six seats and held back the name of the candidate in Bhopal-Dakshin-Paschim seat that it had lost in 2018 elections.
The names of minister Vishvas Sarang (Narela), Krishna Gaur (Govindpura), Rameshwar Sharma (Huzur) and Vishnu Khatri (Beresia) were cleared in this list. In its second list BJP had cleared the names of Dhruv Narayan Singh from Bhopal Madhya (central) and Alok Sharma from Bhopal North. In the 2018 elections BJP had lost from Bhopal Dakshin-Paschim, Bhopal Central and Bhopal North seats.
Vishvas Sarang and Rameshwar Sharma are aiming to register a fourth consecutive win from their respective constituencies of Narela and Huzur. On the other hand, Vishnu Khatri is BJP’s sitting MLA from Beresia having won the last two elections.
Krishna Gaur will be contesting for the second time. She is the widowed daughter-in-law of former chief minister late Babulal Gaur. Gaur for the first time was elected to Vidhan Sabha as a common candidate of the group led by Jaya Prakash Narayan. After this victory never looked back and continually got elected. But before his death he handed over his seat to his daughter-in-law. (IPA Service)