Bhopal: The Congress on Sunday released the second list of 16 candidates for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly elections.
As was being speculated, the party’s chief whip and five-time MLA, Ramniwas Rawat, has been given ticket from Vijaypur, and Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh’s loyalist Mahendra Sigh Chauhan has been chosen to represent the party from Narela seat in Bhopal. The seat is currently being held by CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s minister Vishwas Sarang, who enjoys deep ground connect with voters in the constituency.
Rajnagar MLA Vikram Singh Natiraja, who, it was being said, could be denied ticket and was even rumoured to be joining the BJP, has received a re-nomination. Kamleshwar Dwivedi, who lost to slender margin in Sidhi last time, has also been re-nominated.
Rajendra Bharti, who had complained against Public Relations minister Narottam Mishra over paid news and even got his membership to Assembly annulled by the Election Commission, has been pitted against Mishra from Datia district.
Sources told News 18 that the Congress was planning to field two more JAYS functionaries from Petlawad and Alirajpur, but backtracked after strong protests erupted against nomination of Tribal-based party’s national convener Dr Heeralal Alawa (from Manawar in Dhar) and its functionary Laxman Singh Dindor (from Ratlam).
Sensing trouble from its workers, the party instead offered tickets to local leaders Vel Singh Meda and Mukesh Patel respectively, the sources said. Alwa and Dindor’s nomination has generated unrest among party workers in Manawar and Ratlam’s rural seats.
The party rewarded Munagoli MLA Brajendra Singh Yadav and Kolaras MLA Mahendra Singh Yadav for spirited wins against BJP in the by-polls. The win had bolstered Congress’s 2018 mission after the two candidates from Jyotiraditya Scindia camp pulled off a difficult victory.
Meanwhile, dissent continued in the ruling BJP as Dhruv Narayan Singh, a former MLA from Bhopal Madhya constituency, protested along with hundreds of supporters over a denial of ticket close to his residence in Arera Colony. Dhruv Narayan, son of former MP Chief Minister Govind Narayan Singh, has been sidelined in the party ever since his name popped up in RTI activist Shehla Masood’s murder case.
The Bhopal Madhya is represented by BJP MLA Surendranath Singh, a close aide of CM Chouhan. He was named by the party as its candidate in the first list.