BJP names 39 candidates in its second list for Madhya Pradesh, including 3 ministers and seven MPs

With this, the ruling party has so far named 78 candidates against the total 230 seats in the state ruled by it for 19 years.

Published: 26th September 2023 12:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th September 2023 12:50 AM   |  A+A-

BJP flag. (Photo | PTI)

Image used for representational purpose only. (File photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: Springing a strategic surprise for the second time in 39 days, the ruling BJP came out with its 39-strong second list of candidates for the coming assembly polls. The candidates include seven sitting Lok Sabha MPs, including three union ministers and the party’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.

With this, the ruling party has so far named 78 candidates against the total 230 seats in the state ruled by it for 19 years. Earlier on August 17, the BJP had named 39 candidates in its first list for the state, where polls are likely in November. The list was released just a few hours after PM Narendra Modi left Bhopal after addressing the BJP’s Karyakarta Mahakumbh.

Political watchers in the state feel that by fielding seven Lok Sabha members and Vijayvargiya (four of them have been MLAs in the past), the party may be trying to open up the race for CM post among various probable candidates on the poll battleground. Importantly, the party hasn’t till now named its longest serving CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, or any other leader as its CM face in MP and is contesting the polls with PM Modi’s face in the center.  

The ruling party also seems to be eyeing to strike a balance between its various senior regional leaders on the election battlefield, to gain maximum out of their experience and influence in specific regions and castes.

The three union ministers include Kshatriya caste leader and union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar (fielded from Dimani in Morena district, part of his Lok Sabha constituency), Prahlad Patel (fielded from his ex-minister and sitting MLA brother Jalam Singh Patel’s Narsinghpur seat) and Faggan Singh Kulaste (who will fight from his old Vidhan Sabha seat Niwas in Mandla). Patel’s sitting MLA brother Jalam Singh Patel, reportedly doesn’t want to contest the polls, just a few months after his son Monu Patel’s death.

Four other MPs, including Ganesh Singh (fourth-time MP from Satna), will be contesting from the Satna assembly seat, four-times Jabalpur MP and ex-state party chief Rakesh Singh will be contesting from Jabalpur-West seat of his LS constituency, while second-time Brahmin woman MP Riti Pathak will be in the fray from Sidhi seat.

BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, the six-time former MLA from different seats of the native Indore district and an ex-MP minister has been fielded from Indore-1 seat (currently with Congress’s Sanjay Shukla). He makes his return to contesting Vidhan Sabha polls, ten years after he last won from Mhow-seat of Indore district. The party has not only named him a candidate for Indore-1 seat to wrest the urban seat of Indore, but also to use his poll management experience and political influence on other seats of Indore district as well as the entire Malwa-Nimar region that houses a maximum of 66 seats. Vijayvargiya has been lying in the cold, despite being national general secretary, particularly in the wake of the 2021 Bengal assembly election debacle.

On the other hand, multiple times Lok Sabha member and union minister Narendra Singh Tomar (last contested and won Vidhan Sabha polls 20 years back from home district Gwalior) has been fielded from Dimani seat of Morena district, to not only influence seats of his Morena parliamentary constituency but also to send a positive message to upper caste Thakurs and Brahmins in the 34-seats strong Gwalior-Chambal region.

By fielding powerful Lodhi OBC caste leader and union minister Prahlad Patel from the native Narsinghpur seat, the party is eyeing the OBC Lodhi vote which is significant on 40-50 seats.

Not only has the party fielded MPs, including union ministers to strengthen the party in the battlefield of different regions, but has also given them the additional challenge of proving their mettle back in the assembly poll battleground.

Another sitting MP who has been given an assembly poll ticket is  Jat community leader and third-time MP from Hoshangabad constituency Uday Pratap Singh, who will contest from Gadarwara seat of his parliamentary constituency. He last won the assembly polls in 2008 as a Congress candidate from Tendukheda seat.

By fielding Satna MP Ganesh Singh from Satna assembly seat of his LS seat Satna and the second time MP (from Sidhi constituency) in Sidhi assembly seat, the party is eyeing to consolidate its base among the OBC Kurmi and Brahmin upper caste voters – the two powerful blocks of population in the Vindhya region, which was swept by the BJP in 2018.    

Also, the party is trying to eye the crucial tribal votes in tribes dominated Mahakoshal region by fielding union minister Faggan Singh Kulaste. The party had fared badly in 2018 in this region, which also houses state Congress chief Kamal Nath’s pocket borough Chhindwara’s assembly segments.    

The party has denied a ticket to third-time MLA from Sidhi seat Kedarnath Shukla, seemingly due to the controversy generated by his alleged supporter Pravesh Shukla’s 2019 video clip of urinating on a tribal man. Shukla’s close relatives say that being denied a BJP ticket, he might contest polls from Sidhi only, either as an independent or on any other party’s ticket.  

Two other sitting MLAs not considered for tickets, include sitting MLA and Prahlad Patel’s brother Jalam Singh Patel, who lost his son just a few months back, and the Maihar MLA Narayan Tripathi, who has now formed his own party for the cause of a separate Vindhya state.

The list includes names of just three Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist MLAs, including former MLAs Raghuraj Singh Kansana (Morena) and Imarti Devi (Dabra-SC) and Hirendra Singh ‘Bunty Bana’ from ex-CM Digvijaya Singh’s pocket-borough Raghogarh, which since two-times is being represented by Singh’s ex-minister son Jaivardhan Singh.

Out of the 39 candidates named in the list, six, including two-times MP Riti Pathak, former minister and ex-MLA Imarti Devi, Jyoti Dehria (Parasia-SC), Ganga Bai Uike (Ghodadongri-ST), Nanda Brahmane (Bhikangaon-ST) and ex-MLA Sangeeta Charel (Sailana-ST) are women candidates.

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp