The BJP in New Delhi announced its second list of 64 candidates on Wednesday, for the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha elections on November 25. Prominent contestants named in this list include Ashok Rohani, the son of former speaker Ishwardas Rohani who died due to cardiac arrest in Jabalpur on Tuesday. Bandhavgarh MLA Gyan Singh, who was appointed as pro-tem speaker on Tuesday, is also on the list.
The BJP has nominated Chaudhri Mukesh Singh, the brother of Chaudhri Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi - former Deputy Leader of the Congress Legislative Party who defected to the BJP during the monsoon session, from Mehgaon in Bhind. Incumbent BJP MLA Rakesh Shukla’s supporters are up in arms and he is expected to contest as a rebel.
Fourteen MLAs have been dropped from the list. Former home minister Himmat Kothari, who lost Ratlam City to independent MLA Paras Saklecha in 2008, has not been nominated. The High Court had set aside the election on grounds that Saklecha ran a smear campaign to defame Kothari on false grounds. The Supreme Court however, stayed Saklecha’s disqualification. The BJP has nominated Chetan Kashyap to fight from Ratlam City.
Rewa strongman Abhay Mishra has lost the Semariya seat to his wife Neelam Mishra. Ms. Mishra faces a four cornered contest not only from the BSP and Congress, but also the CPI(M)’s Rohit Tiwari who has been leading the agitation against land grab in the area. Former MP Hemant Khandelwal has replaced sitting BJP MLA Alkesh Arya from Betul. Former union minister Prahlad Patel’s brother Jalam Patel has been nominated from Narsinghpur.
The BJP has named nominees for 211 seats so far, and the Congress 197. There are 230 seats in the Vidhan Sabha, for which scores of candidates are vying for tickets from both parties. The 19 seats left out by the BJP are in various parts of the State, and the party is attempting to quell internal dissidence before declaring the candidates from those seats.
The last date for filing nominations on November 8.