The 22-member Madhya Pradesh Election Committee of the BJP met here on Wednesday to decide on candidates for the 29 Lok Sabha seats in the State. Senior leaders including CM Shivraj Chouhan, MPs Narendra Tomar, Prabhat Jha, Anant Kumar, Kailash Joshi and Thawarchand Gehlot were among those who attended the meeting. According to a party source, there was intense competition for 20 seats.
On Sunday, the Congress nominee for Bhind—former MP and state home secretary—joined the BJP. Earlier Hoshangabad MP Rao Uday Pratap Singh of the Congress and Bhind MLA Chaudhri Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi, both from the Congress, had also joined the BJP. The party is weighing the option of fielding them in light of the opposition from local BJP units.
The Congress has already declared its candidates in 22 seats, one of whom has defected. The source revealed that debate was on whether the party would play the Rajput card by nominating former Congress MLA Krishna Kumar Singh from Sidhi, where the Congress has fielded former minister Indrajeet Patel. Churhat MLA Ajay Singh, who was vying for a Congress ticket, and is related to Krishna Kumar Singh.
The party is also in a fix on whom to nominate from Rewa and Bhopal seats. The demand for the Bhopal seat is high with Rajya Sabha MP and strategist Anil Dave, BJP National Vice President Vikram Verma, BJP district president Alok Sharma and Narela MLA and youth leader Vishwas Sarang in the race. Rewa, currently held by the BSP’s Deoraj Singh, is a weak wicket for the BJP.
Energy Minister Rajendra Shukla is being considered for the seat. There is also pressure from several ministers to field their kin in lieu of support to the party in their respective boroughs in the state. Lok Sabha Opposition Leader Sushma Swaraj is expected to be fielded from Vidisha again. The list is expected to be announced from Delhi tomorrow.
Aam Aadmi Party declared seven more candidates today. It has named the niece of late firebrand adivasi Congress leader Jamuna Devi, Hemlata Dhar from Dhar. The party has nominated 21 candidates from MP so far which include Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Alok Agarwal from Khandwa, Bhopal gas victims activist Rachna Dhingra from Bhopal, eminent lawyer and socialist Anil Trivedi from Indore and, former MLA Paras Saklecha from Mandsaur.