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Dissent Brews in BJP After Party Announces Name of Dhal Singh Bisen from Balaghat

After the clash between the supporters of two BJP leaders – sitting MP Bodh Singh Bhagat and former state minister Gaurishankar Bisen - the party had opted for former state minister Dhal Singh Bisen from Balaghat.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:April 4, 2019, 4:33 PM IST
File image of BJP flag.
File image of BJP flag. (Image: AFP)

Balaghat: As the ensuing Lok Sabha elections have emerged as a tightrope walk for BJP in Madhya Pradesh, the party is primarily struggling from within in Balaghat constituency, which was once a Naxal hotbed.

Senior party leaders Gyan Singh from Shahdol and former MP Ashok Argal have already expressed their discontent over the ticket distribution.

After the clash between the supporters of two BJP leaders – sitting MP Bodh Singh Bhagat and former state minister Gaurishankar Bisen, who pitched for a ticket to his daughter Mausam Bisen- the party had opted for former state minister Dhal Singh Bisen from Balaghat.

At odds with Bhagat in local politics for long, Gaurishankar Bisen was pitching for a ticket to daughter Mausam despite the allegations of practising dynastic politics within the party. Bhagat too hinted that he would enter the poll fray as an independent if denied a ticket.

The stormy affairs were visible on the very day of party announcing candidates as supporters of Bisen and Bhagat clashed. The anguished supporters of the sitting MP not only had locked the BJP party office gate from outside but also torched effigies of BJP senior leaders. Police had to use baton-charge to disperse the supporters of both the leaders.

Things turned murkier further on Wednesday after Bhagat said he was still hopeful of the party changing mind at the eleventh hour and announcing his name.

The tremors generated in far-flung Balaghat are also heard in Bhopal as the BJP reportedly handed the responsibility of reining in discontent to organisational general secretary Suhas Bhagat.

On the contrary, the Congress, which won the Balaghat seat nine times since independence, was content after nominating former MLA Madhu Bhagat who had lost the assembly poll last year.

Last time the party had nominated Hina Likhiram Kanwre who had lost but this time her claim for Lok Sabha ticket did not arise as she was appointed Deputy Leader of Opposition in MP Assembly last year.

Meanwhile, the war of words between Madhu Bhagat and Gaurishankar Bisen is on.

Responding to taunts on his Assembly poll loss from Gaurishankar Bisen, Bhagat recently had claimed that he would make him retire from politics. Bhagat who had won in 2013 had been relegated to the third spot in 2018 as BJP’s Ramkishore Kawre won and SP’s Kankar Munjare finished second.

Gaurishankar Bisen said the BJP nominee Dhal Singh Bisen would win and Bhagat’s loss margin of around 9,000 votes in Assembly polls will swell over one lakh votes in Lok Sabha.

The BJP is yet to lose Balaghat seat since 1998 and among these five occasions, Gaurishankar Bisen has remained an MP twice in 1998 and 2004.

To add to the party’s official nominee Bisen’s woes, a section of the BJP leaders and workers have revealed their support to Bhagat and has even claimed that they would make the sitting MP contest as an independent if the party fails to reconsider its decision.

Bhagat’s performance had remained decent in Parliament as his attendance was 82 per cent, he partook in 21 debates and asked 113 questions. However, as it seems the sitting MP became a victim of intense lobbying within his own party.

Locals also claim the rebellion is more intense from Bhagat camp than from Gaurishankar Bisen who somehow is content with Bhagat, his bitter adversary, denied candidature.

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| Edited by: Anu Parthiban
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