In the third list of the candidates declared by the BJP on Friday, out of the 24 names from Madhya Pradesh, the party has denied tickets to four sitting MPs — Govind Prasad Mishra (Sidhi), Ashok Agral (Bhind), Makhansingh Solanki (Khargone) and Shivraj Singh Lodhi (Damoh). In January, Express had reported that the BJP would deny ticket to at least five sitting MPs from the state.
The party nominees from Bhopal, Balaghat, Sagar, Khajuraho and Mandsaur seats are likely to be declared on March 15. According to highly placed sources, sitting BJP MP from Khajuraho, Jeetendra Singh Bundela is likely to be denied ticket.
Party nominee from Rewa seat Janardhan Mishra’s name was not on the panel sent by the party’s state election committee to Delhi, but he got ticket after Minister for Mineral Resources Rajendra Shukla refused to contest the elections. Shukla was recommended by the SEC to Delhi.
Sources close to Shukla said that he had assured the party high command of Mishra’s victory in Sidhi.
“Shukla knows that even if he wins the election, the chance of him being offered a ministerial berth in the Centre is very low. So he decided to forgo the opportunity to contest the elections,” a source said.
The party has given ticket to three leaders who lost the 2009 general elections -- Nandkumar Chouhan (Khandwa), Faggan Singh Kulaste (Mandla) and Dilip Singh Bhuria (Ratlam).
Former Prime minster Atal Behari Vajpayee’s nephew Anup Mishra, who lost the last year’s Assembly election, has been made the party nominee from Morena, which was earlier represented by state BJP president Narendra Singh Tomar.
Tomar, who will now contest from Gwalior, was desperately trying to change his seat as he had become very unpopular in Morena.
According to BJP insiders, Tomar has made a very shrewd political move by making sure that Mishra is made the party’s candidate from Morena as he will find it very difficult to win from there. “Tomar and Mishra both are very strong in the Gwalior-Morena-Chambal belt hence Tomar always feels threatened by Mishra. To finish Mishra, Tomar facilitated Mishra’s candidature from Morena. The anti-incumbency wave which is against Tomar will hit Mishra”, a party source said.
Due to the bitter fight between senior BJP leaders over the ‘safe’ Bhopal seat, which the BJP has not lost since 1989, the party’s nominee could not be announced in the third list.
Apart from party patriarch L K Advani, whose name was suggested by the sitting MP Kailash Joshi, the names of Alok Sharma, district BJP president and a close associate of CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Krishna Gaur, daughter-in-law of former CM Babulal Gaur, are in the contention for Bhopal.