The All India Congress Committee announced its second list of candidates for 82 seats of the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, in New Delhi on Tuesday. The Congress had declared its nominees for 115 seats, for elections on November 25, last week. It is yet to declare candidates for 33 seats including the name of the candidate who will take on CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Budhni.
Those who have found place in the list include former CM Digvijaya Singh's son Jaivardhan from Raghogarh and former Deputy CM late Subhash Yadav's son Sachin from Kasrawad. Senior Congress MLA Mahendra Kalukheda has changed his seat from Jaora to Mungaoli.
Former MLA Virendra Raghuvanshi — a loyalist of Union Minister of State for Power Jyotiraditya Scindia — will face Mr. Scindia's aunt Yashodara Raje in Shivpuri. Journalist and RTI activist Santosh Bharti has been fielded against Minister Jayant Mallayya in Damoh.
Interestingly two BJP men who joined the Congress days ago — Ravindra Tomar and MLA Devendra Patel — have been given tickets from Dimni and Silwani respectively. This despite a public declaration by Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh that people who join the party less than six months before polls, would not be fielded. Mr. Tomar has earlier also been a member of the BSP.
This list has left no doubt that the much touted “Rahul Formula” is a dead letter. The formula, according to senior Congress leaders, involves surveys and opinions of district and block Congress committees. A section of MPs have raised objections to the selection of candidates and the Pradesh Congress Committee office was seized by protestors when this report was filed.