Assembly elections: First list of BJP candidates out for Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh

Party insiders in Bhopal believe that by declaring the candidates on the 39 seats, the party has tried to give the candidates ample time to prepare for the poll battle.

Published: 18th August 2023 08:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2023 08:50 AM   |  A+A-

BJP flag. (Photo | PTI)

BJP flag. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

BHOPAL/RAIPUR: In a first, the BJP on Thursday released its first list of 39 candidates, including four women, for Madhya Pradesh and 21 candidates, including five women, for Chhattisgarh before the assembly polls due later this year.

The BJP’s first list has come at least a couple of months before the announcement of poll dates by the Election Commission of India for these states.

In Madhya Pradesh, the saffron party released the list for the 39 seats (all were lost in 2018 assembly polls) just a day after the meeting of its central election committee in Delhi, which was attended among others by PM Narendra Modi.

The list came around a month and a half before the model code of conduct is enforced.

Party insiders in Bhopal believe that by declaring the candidates on the 39 seats, the party has tried to give the candidates ample time to prepare for the poll battle.

This exercise is also being seen as an experiment of sorts to gauge the discontent caused by the declaration of candidates on those seats, which are being counted among the most challenging 100-odd seats out of the total 230 assembly seats.

The 39 candidates declared on Thursday, include at least 11 new faces, 21 ex-MLAs and seven candidates, who in the past had lost Vidhan Sabha polls from the same seats they have been fielded now.

The list includes six former ministers, including Adal Singh Kansana, Lalita Yadav, Anchal Sonkar, Nanabhau Mohod, Om Prakash Dhurve and Lal Singh Arya.

Out of the 39 seats, 21 seats are reserved for SC/STs. A maximum of 11 candidates are for the 66 seats strong Malwa-Nimar region, 12 for Mahakoshal region, six for Gwalior-Chambal, five for Bundelkhand, four for central MP and one for Vindhya region.

While 13 candidates are tribals, eight belong to the SC category, 13 from OBC category and five from general category.

Just four in the first list, including ex-minister Lalita Yadav, former MLA Nirmala Bhuria, fresh face Priyanka Meena (wife of Indian Revenue Service officer) and Sarla Vijendra Rawat are women candidates.

Just one of the 22 former Congress MLAs (who had pulled down the BJP government in March 2020) Adal Singh Kansana’s name figures in this list, while Jyotiaditya Scindia-loyalist ex-Congress MLA Ranveer Jatav has failed to get BJP ticket from Gohah-SC seat of Bhind district, which he had won in 2018 polls on Congress ticket.

In Chhattisgarh, the BJP declared its list of 21 candidates. With only 14 legislators in the 90-member House, the BJP’s move is seen as tactical to gain advantage over the Congress. The party has fielded Vijay Baghel, Durg Lok Sabha member, from the Patan seat, which is the home constituency of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. In the 2008 assembly elections, Vijay Baghel defeated  Bhupesh Baghel by a margin of 7,842 votes.

Chhattisgarh is among the five states, along with adjoining Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram, going to polls later this year.


  • Adal Singh Kansana (Sumawali seat)

A four-time former BSP and Congress MLA from Sumawali, he was among the 22 Congress MLAs who pulled down the Kamal Nath govt in 2020. He was later a minister in Shivraj Singh Chouhan govt, but resigned a few months later, losing the bypoll as BJP candidate from the seat in Nov 2020 

  • Alok Sharma (Bhopal Uttar seat)

The former Bhopal mayor, Sharma is considered close to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. He has been fielded from Bhopal North seat, where he had lost as BJP candidate to veteran sitting Congress MLA and ex-minister Arif Aqeel in 2008 by just 4,000-odd votes

  • Dhruv Narayan Singh (Bhopal Madhya seat)

Son of former MP CM Govind Narayan Singh, he was elected as BJP MLA from Bhopal-Madhya seat in 2008. But with his name figuring in the 2011 RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case (CBI gave him clean chit later), he was denied a BJP ticket from the same seat in 2013 and 2018


  • Vijay Baghel (Patan seat)

BJP LS member from Durg constituency, he will contest from Patan seat against CM Bhupesh Baghel. The likely contest between the two Baghels is now dubbed as the clash between Chacha (Bhupesh) and Bhatija (Vijay). The two were pitted against each other in 2003, 2008 and 2013 as well

  • Ram Vichar Netam (Ramanujganj seat)

A prominent tribal face in the state BJP and former home minister in Raman Singh cabinet (2008-13). He won Assembly elections in 2003 and 2008 but lost in 2013 from Ramanujganj seat. He is a Rajya Sabha member. In 2015 Amit Shah appointed him as a national secretary in his team

  • Lakhan Lal Dewangan (Korba seat)

Former corporator and Mayor of Korba municipal corporation. He was elected as an MLA from Katghora seat in 2013 and was parliamentary secretary in Raman Singh govt. He is the only candidate among the 21 names, who has lost 2018 polls. He will against state minister Jai Singh Agrawal


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