Neena Vyas

NEW DELHI: Yashodhara Raje Scindia, sister of deceased Congress leader Madhav Rao Scindia and a Minister in the Shivraj Singh Chauhan Government in Madhya Pradesh, will be the Bharatiya Janata Party's candidate for the Gwalior Lok Sabha seat. The seat fell vacant after the former Congress MP Ram Sevak Singh was expelled in the cash-for-questions scandal.

The BJP's Central Election Committee met here on Tuesday to finalise candidates for two Lok Sabha seats, both in Madhya Pradesh, and two Assembly seats one in Madhya Pradesh and the other in Nagaland. Although these seats have been declared vacant, the Election Commission is yet to notify the dates for election.

Ms. Scindia is the sister of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. As a member of the erstwhile royal family of Scindias, the party believes she stands a good chance of wresting the Gwalior seat from the Congress.

For Sidhi, a reserved Scheduled Tribes seat in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP finalised the name of Kunwar Singh. Mr. Singh was chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and was appointed in that position during the tenure of the National Democratic Alliance government. The seat also fell vacant as a result of the cash-for-questions scandal. It was held by Chandra Pratap Singh of the BJP.

For the Assembly seat of Udaypura in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP has finalised Shashi Prabha as its candidate. This seat fell vacant as the former BJP MLA, Ram Pal Singh, was elected to Parliament in a by-election from the Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency, formerly held by Mr. Chauhan, who vacated it after he became Chief Minister.By-elections for two Assembly seats are due in Nagaland.

While the BJP is yet to decide its candidate for Dimapur, it has given ticket to Wongto Chang for the Tuensang Sadar II seat. By finalising its candidates early the party hopes to give a headstart to its nominees.