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As Congress Finalises MP Candidates, Jyotiraditya Scindia Says No Ticket for Wife Priyadarshini Raje

Congress' list of candidates for the state is said to include Jyotiraditya Scindia for the Guna seat, Ajay Singh for Sidhi, Nakul Nath for Chhindwara, Arun Yadav for Khandwa and Vivek Takha for Jabalpur,

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:April 3, 2019, 2:23 PM IST
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As Congress Finalises MP Candidates, Jyotiraditya Scindia Says No Ticket for Wife Priyadarshini Raje
File photo of Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Bhopal: As the Congress finalises its candidates for at least a dozen seats in Madhya Pradesh, former union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has reportedly declined the party’s offer to field his wife Priyadarshini Raje.

The list of names which have been finalised includes Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna, Ajay Singh from Sidhi, Nakul Nath from Chhindwara, Arun Yadav from Khandwa, Vivek Takha from Jabalpur, Prabhu Singh from Sagar, Ramniwas Rawat from Morena, Prahlad Tipania from Dewas and Rajaram Tripathi from Satna.

The name of Scindia’s personal assistant, PS Parashar, was also making the rounds for the seat from Morena.

The Central Election Committee, which met in the national capital late evening, has zeroed-in on 15 names, sources claim.

The CEC is also said to have emphasised the fact that while all party seniors should contest, their relatives should not be offered tickets.

The names of candidates for seats like Indore, Vidisha, Dhar, Rewa and Gwalior are, however, on hold for the time being.

Both the Congress and BJP are still in a fix over the seat from Gwalior constituency, which casts its votes under the shadow of Gwalior fort.

Sources in the Congress say that Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is Congress’ general secretary in-charge of West UP, has told the party that since he would be busy in UP he does not wish to field his wife.

It was being speculated that if Scindia files his nomination from the Guna seat, where he is the sitting MP, Priyadarshini Raje, would be nominated from Gwalior.

Even Chief Minister Kamal Nath had suggested that Scindia should let his wife contest the Lok Sabha poll this time.

Scindia himself recently fuelled speculations of his wife contesting the polls during a public meeting where he said that if Congress comes to power, it would clear the women reservation bill. “It may possible that I would be required to come in front of the public as the husband of an MP,” Scindia said at the time.

However, this now seems unlikely given that Priyadarshini Raje will be embarking on a five-day campaign programme in Guna from the second week of April, indicating she will only be campaigning for her husband this time around.

Businessman Ashok Singh, who lost against BJP senior leader Narendra Singh Tomar by a narrow margin of 29,000 votes in 2014, is a strong contender for the Gwalior ticket. Singh is also said to be in Scindia’s good books.

From the BJP, the names of former ministers Maya Singh and Yashodhara Raje Scindia are making the rounds but, locals say that neither are viable prospects, despite hailing from Gwalior’s royal family.

Mayor Vivek Narayan Shejwalkar, who rides on a clean image, is also a contender for the ticket.

Besides, Congress is also eagerly waiting for the BJP to announce its candidate from Vidisha, another saffron stronghold in the Madhya Pradesh.

The BJP is also likely to field former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan despite his reluctance to contest the polls.

Among the Congress senior party leaders’ wives, it is expected that Pravina Bachchan, the wife of Home minister Bala Bachchan will contest the polls from Khargone.

Besides being the wife of a powerful minister in the state, Pravina has the party’s support because of her clean image. Congress is also looking to field a woman in order to convey a positive message to the female electorate.

The BJP camp, which is riddled by intense in-fighting, has named 18 candidates so far and is yet to announce 11 names. However, because of the internal conflict, the announcement might be waylaid till the last moment.

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| Edited by: Angana Chakrabarti
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