- Congress jabs BJP, CM Shivraj Chouhan over candidates list.
- By fielding seven MPs, including three Union Ministers and a national general secretary besides the Chief Minister, the BJP had shown how ‘scared’ it was of the Congress, Randeep Surjewala said.
- The BJP has so far named 79 candidates for the election to the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly.
- The BJP has thrown open the leadership in Madhya Pradesh and deployed its big guns, several of whom have never contested assembly polls.
The Congress party trained guns at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for fielding Union ministers and other party bigwigs in the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections and not announcing chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan‘s name even in its second list released on Tuesday. Congress leader Pramod Tiwari on Wednesday said not announcing Chouhan’s name in the second list released by the BJP was surprising and a “height of disrespect”.
The BJP has thrown open the leadership in Madhya Pradesh and deployed its big guns, several of whom have never contested assembly polls, to deliver the goods for the party in the elections that are due later this year. Three Union ministers, including Narendra Singh Tomar and Faggan Singh Kulaste, and four other MPs were named as candidates in the second list of nominees for 39 seats, taking many within the party by surprise.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, long seen as an aspirant for the chief minister’s chair, was also named in the second list along with other senior leaders. Vijayvargiya, named as a candidate from the Indore-1 constituency, said that he had no wish to fight elections and that he still cannot believe that the BJP gave him an opportunity to fight in the upcoming Assembly polls.
Addressing a public meeting in Indore, Kailash Vijayvargiya said,” A lot of work has to be done in this constituency. Indore-1 will become number one in development also. Our victory will also be number one. I had no wish to fight the elections. I had made plans for public address. Now I still cannot believe I have become a candidate and have been given a ticket by our party.”
Reacting to his remarks, Tiwari said, “Kailash Vijayvargiya is not saying that he was not ready. He was asked and he refused, yet it was imposed on him. He’s saying his mental setup is no longer able to contest elections which means that his mental setup doesn’t want to contest elections to lose.”
Tomar and Kulaste will be contesting from seats that were won by the Congress in 2018. A three-term MP, Tomar was an MLA for two terms till 2008 and has been in Lok Sabha since 2009. Union minister Prahlad Singh Patel is a five-term Lok Sabha MP and has never been an MLA while Kulaste, a tribal leader, was last an MLA way back in 1992 before getting elected to Lok Sabha six times and Rajya Sabha once.
(With inputs from agencies)