Raipur: Disappointment set in deep among several BJP leaders in Chhattisgarh after the party decided to field all fresh faces for the 11 Lok Sabha seats in the state, leaving out many, including OP Choudhary, the bureaucrat-turned-politician who failed to get nominated after his disappointing defeat in the assembly elections.
Holding the reputation of one of the finest bureaucrats of the state, Choudhary joined BJP ahead of the assembly elections last year, but suffered a drubbing from the Kharasia seat. Nonetheless, his candidature was widely anticipated among political circles.
An undeterred Chowdhary, however, said that he isn’t disappointed by the decision. “Neither did I ask for any ticket nor did the party promise me one,” Choudhary told News18. The former Raipur collector said that he still considered BJP to be the best political party and would accept whatever role the party assigns him. For this, he is campaigning across Chhattisgarh to participate in assembly-wise events, he added.
When asked if he deemed it fit for an officer of his stature to merely engage in campaigning, Choudhary said, “If someone is willing, there is a lot to do in politics”. Talking about his party’s dismal performance in the assembly elections, the bureaucrat was of the opinion that the dynamics of the Lok sabha elections work differently and in the end, it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image itself, which will help the party will secure a victory once again.
Senior MP of Raipur, Ramesh Bais on the other hand, did not perceive the matter of his failed nomination with much optimism. An evidently disappointed Bais said, “Nothing could be done as the decision has already been made.” Despite being denied a ticket, Bais was campaigning in New Delhi.
As the BJP announced the remaining names of the candidates for the upcoming elections on Sunday, it was interesting to note that neither the former chief minister Raman Singh, nor his son and sitting MP Abhishek were graced with a nomination. The party decided to field Santosh Pandey instead, a close confidant of senior leader Saroj Pandey, who is known to be a Raman Singh detractor.
Meanwhile Singh’s close aide and BJP spokesperson Sunil Soni, too, did not get a nomination from Raipur and neither did MLA Dipak Patel, who raised a brouhaha over his denial of ticket from Korba. He said that he was “overlooked by the party” despite having the support of the public and party workers. BJP nominees from Janjgir and Kanker are also facing stiff opposition from within the party.