BHOPAL: Fearing denial of party ticket or defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in the absence of a Modi wave, some BJP Lok Sabha members from Madhya Pradesh are considering to try their luck in this year's Assembly election.If BJP insiders are to be believed, 8-10 of the 23 party MPs from the state are keen to contest the states polls likely to be held in November-December. Some of these MPs are already believed to have conveyed their desire to the party leadership in the state via different channels.
A senior party leader told The Sunday Standard that Betul MP Jyoti Dhurve is keen to contest from the Ghoradongri Assembly segment of Betul district, while Dewas MP Manohar Untwal is eyeing the Agar seat that he won in 2013 and had vacated after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Dewas in 2014.
First-time Mandsaur MP Sudhir Gupta is said to be keen on contesting from Mandsaur Assembly constituency, which is currently represented by party’s Yashpal Singh Sisodiya. Riti Pathak, who represents the Sidhi constituency in the Lower House of Parliament, has set her eyes on Sihawal seat currently held by Congress leader Kamleshwar Patel.
Alok Sanjar is reportedly interested in contesting from Bhopal Madhya Assembly seat that is held by Bhopal district BJP chief Surendra Nath Singh. Morena MP and former minister Anoop Mishra wants to make his way back to the Assembly from one of the seats of his native Gwalior district, while Shahdol MP and former state Cabinet minister Gyan Singh is eyeing to return to the Assembly from Bandhavgarh, a seat he had vacated for son Shivnarayan Singh last year.
Chintaman Malviya, MP from Ujjain, is also reportedly on the list of Assembly ticket aspirants.
Sources close to some of these leaders told The Sunday Standard that these leaders are not sure of getting party tickets to contest the next parliamentary elections. Also, with no Modi wave like 2014 palpable on the ground this time, these leaders feel their chances of winning Assembly polls in comparison to general elections are higher.
A senior party leader said there was no harm in fielding the sitting MPs in the Assembly polls as they were not only likely to win their individual seats but could also help new faces being fielded by the party in adjoining seats. Further, the possibility of these MPs getting ministerial berths if the BJP returns to power in the state is higher.
However, BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal dismissed such talks as mere speculation. “There’s no bar on MPs contesting Assembly polls, but candidates on all 230 Assembly seats will be decided by the party only through a pre-determined process,” he said.