With the inner party dissidence over the selection of the candidates in majority of the state’s 29 Parliamentary seats, now, threatening to spiral out of control, both the BJP and Congress are apprehensive whether it will sabotage the prospects of their respective candidates.
The dissidence, if it occurs at the expected scale, will hurt the BJP more as it has set its eyes on winning all the 29 seats. The Congress, on the other hand, will feel rather contended if it were able to retain the seats it had won in the 2009 elections. In 2009, the BJP had won 16 LS seats to the 12 picked up by the Congress.
However, the BJP feels that the ‘Modi wave’ will be able to negate any internal rebellion and no major damage will be done to the party’s prospects in the states. “It is true that apart from a couple of seats (Indore,Vidisha), there was more than one contender for the party ticket. However, now that the final list has been announced, those who failed to get the tickets have been politely but firmly asked to support the official party candidate.”
“We have told them that any sign of internal sabotage will invite strict action. Individual interests cannot be allowed to destroy the party’s chances of returning to power at the Centre”, a senior BJP functionary told Express. Besides, he said that even the RSS is keeping tabs on the prominent local leaders in all the constituencies to make sure that no internal sabotage is done. And the Sangh is likely to deploy one of its workers in each polling booth to make sure that the local BJP leaders do not attempt any sabotage against the party candidate. Despite the party’s directives the senior BJP leaders, who were denied tickets, have given vent to their ire in public. MPradesh BJP vice-president and Rajya Sabha MP, Raghunandan Sharma, said that he was ‘hurt and humiliated’ after being denied the party ticket from Mandsaur seat. Sharma also said the party had treated many of its leaders unfairly in the past and continued to do so.
Even in the Bhopal seat, the name of BJP district chief Alok Sharma was vetoed at the last minute, with a lesser known functionary Alok Sanjar bagging the ticket. Even though a sulking Sharma has said that he will support Sanjar, the BJP leaders are not convinced. The problem is manifest more in the seats, where a sitting MP has been denied the ticket or where an outsider has been fielded. In Hoshangabad, where the BJP has given the ticket to Congress turncoat Rao Uday Pratap, the local BJP leaders are up in arms against him and are angry at the party’s decision to ignore the claims of the leaders, who had tolied for the BJP for so many years.