Saturday, November 1, 2008

BJP denies tickets to quarter of MP MLAs

Nov 1, 2008

The BJP has denied tickets to nearly a fourth of MLAs in Madhya Pradesh, in its first list of candidates, reports The Economic Times. The list, announced on Friday, comprises 115 candidates, accounting for half of 230-member assembly. As many as 28 sitting MLAs, including one minister have been dropped.

Minister in the public works department, Narayan Prasad Kabirpanthi, has been dropped. He had contested from Naryaoli in the last elections and will be replaced by Pradeep Lariya. Of these 115 seats, the BJP had won 75 in the last assembly elections; 47 of the sitting MLAs have been given a ticket.

This exercise of letting go of MLAs to counter the adverse effects of incumbency proved to be succesful in Gujarat. The party has stuck to this formula in Chhattisgarh as well. It is expected that a similar exercise will be undertaken for Rajasthan.

Madhya Pradesh is one of the three poll-bound states where the BJP has been in power for the past five years. The BJP brass, in consultation with the local units, has decided to neutralise the damage by denying tickets to candidates whose report cards as sitting MLAs in the past five years were not found up to the mark.

In its first list the party has fielded 14 women candidates, 19 OBCs, 20 Scheduled Caste and 33 Scheduled Tribe candidates. Ram Pal Singh, who represents the Vidisha parliamentary seat, which he contested in a bypoll after he vacated his Budni seat in favour of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, is marking a return to state politics.

He will be contesting from the newly formed constituency of Shilvani. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan will contest from his home constituency of Budni. other notables who have been given a ticket are Sundarlal Patwa’s nephew Surendra Patwa from the Bhojpur seat, which he lost to Congress candidate Rajesh patel in the last elections.

Assembly speaker Ishwar Das Rohani will be contesting from the Jabalpur Cant seat.

Meanwhile, the Congress stuck to the quota script and awarded nominations to loyalists of powerful state leaders in Madhya Pradesh. While backers of Mr Digvijay Singh and Mr Kamal Nath walked away with a major share, the party took care to guard political interests of Mr Arjun Singh, Mr Suresh Pachouri and Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia.

The first list of 117 candidates released by the Congress clearly indicated the party was adhering to the ‘quota system’ although there was talk of abandoning it.

Mr Digvijay Singh and Mr Pachouri will not contest the assembly poll. Raghogarh, which is being represented by Mr Singh, has gone to his associate Mool Singh. Mr Singh was chief minister of the state for 10 years.

The list released by the party for the next month’s poll includes several former ministers and senior leaders including leader of opposition Jamuna Devi and former deputy chief minister Subhash Yadav.

While Ms Jamuna Devi has been renominated from Kukshi, Mr Yadav will contest from Kasrawad. Mr Ajay Singh, son of Mr Arjun Singh, has been renominated from Churhat. Former assembly speaker Sninivas Tiwari is the party nominee from Sirmour.

Hazarilal Raghuvanshi, who is the deputy speaker, has been nominated from Seoni-Malwa. Among former ministers who have been given tickets include Satyadev Katare, Mahindra Bodh, Raghavendra Singh, Parvatlal Ahirwar and Radnesh Solomon, brother-in-law of former chief minister of Chhattisgarh Ajit Jogi.

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