16 sitting BJP MPs may be changed

16 sitting BJP MPs may be changed

Sources in the BJP said the workers' feedback would be given due importance this time round in candidate selection. PTI file photo

The BJP leadership in Madhya Pradesh is believed to have found that more than half of the 27 sitting Lok Sabha members in the state are facing strong opposition from the rank and file of the party, as a result of which the BJP might lose the Lok Sabha contest in the region.

In an interaction with five high-powered panels convened in Bhopal on Friday, BJP workers and leaders from 16 Lok Sabha constituencies are said to have registered their protest to fielding the sitting MPs again. 

Incidentally, the RSS has also recommended changing sitting MPs in 16 seats, based on its internal survey.

Among the MPs facing massive internal protest include former state BJP president Nand Kumar Singh Chouhan, who represents Khandwa. Union Minister Virendra Kumar is also being strongly opposed by workers from his Tikamgarh constituency. Bhopal MP Alok Sanjar too found no support among local workers and leaders.

Sources in the BJP said the workers' feedback would be given due importance this time round in candidate selection.

“We will not repeat the mistake of assembly election”, a senior BJP leader who was part of the assessment panel said.

In the run-up to the assembly poll, the RSS had recommended that the BJP change 100 out of its 165 MLAs to buck anti-incumbency. However, the BJP leadership changed only 56 MLAs.

After the loss in 2018, the party concluded that not fielding fresh faces was a major factor in its defeat. 

The five-panel assessment team included senior BJP leaders like Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan , leader of opposition Gopal Bhargava , state BJP president Rakesh Singh and vice president Prabhat Jha. They took feedback from workers who had gathered from across the state.

The teams will submit their assessment to the central leadership, which is likely to discuss the report in its scheduled meeting on March 22.