Bhopal: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition Congress are likely to come up with their list of candidates on Thursday after an inordinate delay in the announcement of the names.
BJP, in its third successive term in power in Madhya Pradesh, is cautious on the selection candidates following reports of anti-incumbency and non-performance of MLAs, including several ministers.
An alleged RSS survey, suggesting denial of tickets to almost half of the sitting MLAs including a dozen ministers over poor track record as legislators, had complicated things for the ruling party.
Given the influence of MLAs, who were to be denied tickets, the party has reportedly cut down the list to around 50 MLAs, including at least three ministers.
The BJP on Sunday had finalized names, including multiple options on several seats, in a marathon Election Management Committee meeting in Bhopal.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had flown to New Delhi on October 31, reportedly, with the list of shortlisted candidates. He has given it to the party’s Central Election Committee which is expected to release some names on Thursday.
Among high profile seats, Budni held by CM Shivraj, Govindpura represented for record 10th time by veteran Babulal Gaur and Mhow presented by Kailash Vijayvargiya are in the news for selection of candidates.
RSS reportedly has instructed Chouhan to opt for any other seat than Budni while Gaur, 88, has virtually taken on entire party while pressing for his re-nomination from Gonvindpura. Party general secretary Kailash Vjayvargiya is also in the news over his own candidature and strong backing for his son Akash for a ticket from Mhow.
Vijayvargiya is expected to convey his reluctance on contesting election. He is likely to field his son Akash before the party high command on Thursday. Sources claim the BJP could announce 130-150 names by evening on Thursday.
The situation is even complex for opposition Congress which has been delaying the announcement of candidates. Since mid-September, when the party was expected to announce candidates, the list was rumoured to be coming in October. It is now expected to be announced on Thursday.
The party held a meeting of Central Election Committee at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s residence on Wednesday. It has reportedly finalised 190 names. Affirming this, MPCC chief Kamal Nath had told the media that discussions were complete on 190 seats and the CEC would meet again on Thursday afternoon to finalise remaining 40 names.
“We could announce some of the names on Thursday and another list on Friday,” said Nath. From the outset, the Congress has been claiming that first list would contain 80 names on seats where Congress hasn’t won for long.
Besides, still there is no clarity whether MPCC chief Kamal Nath and Campaign Committee chairman, both MPs, would contest assembly polls or not.
Both the BJP and Congress are compelled to announce names on Thursday as process of filing nominations for assembly polls gets underway on November 2 and would conclude on November 9.
With several seats witnessing stiff tussle among the probables, it seems the party could hold announcement of names on those seats till the last moment to avoid an implosion.
The state with 230 assembly seats goes to polls on November 28 –in a single phase.