BJP drops 27 sitting MLAs in first MP list

The BJP on Friday released a list for 229 candidates for Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Mizoram.

In the first list of MP, BJP dropped its 27 sitting legislators including two Cabinet Ministers in Shivraj Singh Chouhan government and brought in new faces in order to tide over the anti-incumbency due to 15 year-long interrupted spell of power in the state.

The party has declared candidature of party’s prominent leaders like Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, former Chief Minister Sundar Lal Patwa’s nephew Surendra Patwa, Yashodhara Raje, the sister of late Madhav Rao Scindia and senior leader Narottam Mishra.

Both Raje and Patwa are ministers in BJP government in the state.

Scotching speculations Chouhan may change his seat, he has been fielded from his home turf Budhni in Sehore district. Earlier there was a buzz that he could change his seat and may seek election from a constituency in Bhopal.

Out of 230 seats for which elections will be held in Madhya Pradesh, the party has already declared candidates 177 in the very first list. For Telangana and Mizoram, this is the second list of 28 and 24 candidates respectively.

In what could invite some criticism to the ruling party, the BJP list for Madhya Pradesh also includes the name of Umakant Sharma, the brother of former minister Laxmikant Sharma, who had faced allegations in VYAPAM job-admission racket.

The Sironj seat from where Umakant Sharma has been fielded this time was represented four times by his elder brother and a prominent Brahmin face in BJP Laxmikant Sharma till he was denied a ticket in 2013 at the height of political storm over Vyapam.

Overall the party has succumbed to the demands of powerful regional leaders and have accommodated the preferences of all, scaling down its earlier thinking to deny tickets to odd 90 sitting MLAs including ministers in the state government to counter anti-incumbency.

However, some have indeed lost tickets lime Maya Singh another royal, who had won Gwalior East seat with a wafer-thin majority in last assembly polls. BJP has chosen to field a corporator here, who was working in the constituency for last five years and would have contested as an independent candidate had he not been fielded.

Another Cabinet minister from Shivraj government who lost ticket is Gaurishankar Bisen from Baalaghat. A few days back, a complaint was also made against Bisen in Election Commission after a video of his distributing 10000 sairs went viral. Also, Bisen was Agriculture Minister in Madhya Pradesh, which was the epicentre of farmer agitation in 2017 that had culminated in the killing over half a dozen farmers in police firing.

However, most of the sitting MLAs and ministers have been re-nominated including Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya, who had deep RSS background.

Earlier the BJP while releasing the first list 77 candidates for Chhattisgarh had dropped 14 sitting MLAs. BJP is fighting against strong anti-incumbency after having ruled both the states for three terms.

A political analyst aware of MP politics told Deccan Herald, “Clearly the list shows that BJP central leadership has tried to keep all regional leaders in good humour. All the strong state leaders have got their candidates on the list and the party had dropped its earlier strong decision to drop a large number of MlAs to counter anti-incumbency. Still, a fair number of MLAs failed to get renomination.”

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BJP drops 27 sitting MLAs in first MP list

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