One seat, many names in the running
Even as the BJP takes time to decide candidates for the Lok Sabha polls in Madhya Pradesh, every day a new potential candidate’s name keeps cropping up for the Bhopal constituency, which has been a saffron bastion since 1989. Several names, including ex-CMs Babulal Gaur and Shivraj Singh Chouhan, ex-MP minister Umashankar Gupta, union minister Narendra Singh Tomar and even that of Union Minister Uma Bharti (who had announced she won’t be contesting the polls) are doing rounds of BJP circles.
Recently, Bhopal mayor Alok Sharma said publicly that he, too, was in the race.
FB Live to connect with first-time voters
Aiming to connect with the electorate ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission is banking on the power of social media. Joint chief electoral officer (Joint CEO) Abhijeet Agrawal held a live session on Facebook on Monday, which was shared by several hundred users. Over 160 users asked questions during the half-an-hour live session that started around 5 pm. The viewers numbered more than 3,200. “Our main objective was to reach out to young voters who are smartphone users,” Agrawal said. The questions asked pertained to the procedure of getting their names enrolled and how to find the exact location of polling booths.
BJP leaders lobbying for tickets for children
For long, the BJP has attacked the Congress over the politics of dynasty. However, just a few days after the schedule of Lok Sabha polls were announced, senior BJP politicians, including former ministers, are believed to be lobbying for LS tickets for their children.
While Gourishankar Bisen, the agriculture minister in the Shivraj government, is backing daughter Mausam Bisen’s claims from Balaghat seat, present Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava justified sons and daughters of politicians stepping into their parents’ shoes.
Babulal says won’t contest on Congress ticket
A few weeks after he created a flutter by making public that senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh had offered him a Congress ticket to contest the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, BJP veteran and former MP Chief Minister Babulal Gaur has now ruled out contesting the polls on Congress ticket.
“I’m with the BJP and will remain here only. If the party gives me ticket, I’ll contest, if not then I’ll work for the party’s success in the Lok Sabha polls,” Gaur said.
After another BJP veteran Sartaj Singh joined the Congress to unsuccessfully contest from Hoshangabad assembly seat last year, Gaur, too, raised the banner of revolt, demanding a ticket from Govindpura seat, his pocket-borough for the tenth time. But the party pacified him by fielding his ex-mayor daughter-in-law Krishna Gaur from Govindpura.