The Madhya Pradesh BJP announced a 51-member campaign committee headed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, for the coming Assembly polls.
The party also formed committees for discipline, finance, coordination and manifesto. While all former Chief Ministers appeared on the list, the name of Uma Bharti — currently an MLA in Uttar Pradesh — is missing.
The names broadly cover all factions of the party except Ms. Bharti’s — whose Bharatiya Janshakti Party merged with the BJP with its five MLAs in 2011.
State media in charge Hitesh Bajpai said Ms. Bharti is a national vice-president. “Except Prabhat Jha, who was the previous State president, all national-level leaders, including Sushma Swaraj, have been excluded.”
A Bharti aide told The Hindu that as whatever she said created controversy for the BJP in the State, she had chosen to focus on Uttar Pradesh, from where she is tipped to fight the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The State unit has seen a lot of infighting and controversy in the recent past, the latest being the dismissal of the editor of its mouthpiece Charaiveti. Anil Soumitra was sacked after an article on sexual harassment in the church was published in the magazine’s April issue. The party felt this would alienate minorities. Mr. Soumitra isn’t alone in drawing flak from the party.
Kailash Joshi’s son Deepak, MLA from Hatpipliya, was asked to delete a Facebook post, in which he said the party “had reached the limit of dynastic politics and ideology of real estate (pattavad).”
Last month, BJP workers came to blows and even fired at each other in public functions at Guna and Khajuraho.