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MP Assembly Elections: Trouble For Congress as Party Rebels Oppose Ticket for Kantilal Bhuria’s Son

Kantilal Bhuria allegedly compelled the Congress to field his son from Jhbaua, his hometown. But the decision has not gone down well with the party and protests erupted soon after the ticket announcement.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:November 5, 2018, 6:47 PM IST
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MP Assembly Elections: Trouble For Congress as Party Rebels Oppose Ticket for Kantilal Bhuria’s Son
Congress MP Kantilal Bhuria
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Jhabua: Senior Congress leader Kantilal Bhuria, who is arguably the most influential tribal politician in Madhya Pradesh, seems to have stepped on sticky wicket by ushering his son Vikrant from Jhabua assembly constituency.

Kantilal, who is the mainstay of Congress in tribal belt of Malwa-Nimar, compelled the party to field his son from Jhbaua, his hometown. But the decision has not gone down well with the party and protests erupted soon after the ticket announcement.

Trouble mounted for the Jhabua-Ratlam MP when former MLA Xavier Meda filed a nomination under the Congress banner, expressing faith that the party would alter the candidature and give him a chance instead. Meda’s confidence steps from his performance in the 2008 assembly polls when the party had initially nominated Kantilal’s niece Kalavati Bhuria, but later gave ticket to Meda who went on to win the seat.

Kalavati, however, settled the scores in 2013 when she contested as an independent candidate and helped BJP’s Shantilal Bhilwal by eating into Meda’s votes, who was re-nominated by the Congress.

But this time, Kantilal has got nominations for his son, a physician by profession (from Jhabua), niece Kalawati (from Jobat) and his staunch supporter Veer Singh Bhuria (from Thandla). Kalawati and Veer Singh haven’t faced much opposition but Vikrant’s nomination has irked the party cadre.

Soon after the candidates’ list was released on Saturday, Meda’s supporters carried out protests and burned Kantilal’s effigy. Their anguished was fueled by the fact that Meda was almost certain of his ticket and all arrangements were made accordingly. He is said to have been offered a ticket from Petlavad, which he denied.

An upset Meda then went to New Delhi to meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, and on return, and filed a nomination with hundreds of supporters by his side. The official candidate Vikrant is yet to file his nomination. Locals believe that his father’s backing, his own academic background and an undisputed image may work in Vikrant’s favour.

Kantilal’s prominence in the Congress could be understood by the fact that the party had won only nine out of 66 seats in Malwa-Nimar region in 2013 polls, with the BJP pocketing 56 of them. Also, it was Kantilal who had first challenged the ‘Modi wave’ when he won the Lok Sabha by-poll from Ratlam-Jhabua in 2015, increasing Congress’s tally to 45 and BJP’s seat count to 281 in Lok Sabha with his win.
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