Ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its second list of candidates, reaffirming its commitment to securing a majority in the 230-member House. The party has made notable inclusions, including three Union ministers and prominent leaders.
The ruling party had previously declared candidates for 78 seats, with the initial list of 39 names unveiled in August. In the latest announcement, the BJP has strategically fielded Union ministers in key constituencies.
Among the prominent candidates, Union Minister Faggan Singh Kulaste has been nominated to contest from Niwas (ST). Prahlad Singh Patel, another Union Minister, will represent Narsinghpur, a constituency where his brother, Jalam Singh Patel, currently serves as the incumbent MLA. Narendra Singh Tomar, the third Union Minister in the fray, will contest from Dimni.
The BJP has also drawn from its strong pool of Lok Sabha Members of Parliament, selecting four of them as candidates:
Rakesh Singh will contest from Jabalpur (West).
Riti Pathak will represent Sidhi.
Ganesh Singh has been nominated for the Satna seat.
Udaypratap Singh will contest from Gadarwara.
Notably, Riti Pathak replaces MLA Kedarnath Shukla, whose alleged supporter was embroiled in the Sidhi case that garnered national outrage due to a tribal individual being subjected to indignity.
Adding to the roster, BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya has thrown his hat into the ring, deciding to contest from the Indore-1 Assembly seat.
The comprehensive list also features a range of candidates:
Durgalal Vijay (Sheopur)
Raghuraj Kansana (Morena)
Amrish Sharma (Lahar)
Mohan Singh Rathore (Bhitarwar)
Imarti Devi (Dabra)
Pradeep Agrawal (Sewda)
Ramesh Khatik (Karera)
In addition to these candidates, the BJP has nominated others, including Hirendra Singh (Raghogarh), Brijbihari Pateria (Deori), Arvind Pateria (Rajnagar), Shrikant Chaturvedi (Maihar), Vishwamitra Pathak (Sihawal), Dilip Jaiswal Kotma, and Pankaj Tekam (Dindori).
The party has fielded Gaurav Pardhi from Katangi, Natthan Shah from Junnardev, Vivek Banti Sahu from Chhindwara, Jyoti Deharia from Parasia, Gangabai Uikey from Ghoradongri, Narendra Shivaji Patel from Udaipura, Hajarilal Dangi from Khilchipur, and Madhu Gehlot from Agar.
Arun Bhimawat will fight from Shajapur, Nanda Brahmane from Bhikangaon, Antar Singh Patel from Rajpur, Shyam Barde from Pansemal, Kalsingh Bhanwar from Thandla, Sardar Singh Medha from Gandhwani, Manoj Patel from Depalpur, Tejbahadur Singh from Nagda-Khachrod, and Sangeeta Charel from Sailana, according to the BJP.
The list includes candidates for four Scheduled Caste (SC) and ten Scheduled Tribe (ST) reserved seats.
The upcoming Assembly polls are expected to be a closely watched event in Madhya Pradesh politics, following the political developments in recent years. In 2018, the Congress won 114 seats against the BJP's 109, forming a government under Kamal Nath. However, the government fell in March 2020 after a rebellion by MLAs loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia, leading to the return of Shivraj Singh Chouhan as Chief Minister.
Subsequent bypolls saw legislators switching sides, strengthening the BJP's position, which now holds 126 seats in the House, while the Congress has 96.
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