In Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Chouhan Gets Ticket, Pragya Thakur Does Not

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In Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Chouhan Gets Ticket, Pragya Thakur Does Not

At least four of Mr Chouhan’s loyalists have also got tickets.

Bhopal:

In the BJP’s list of 195 candidates announced on Saturday, 24 are for the 29 constituencies in Madhya Pradesh. As the party looks to better its stupendous record of winning 28 seats in 2019, it has given tickets to former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia while replacing controversial MP Pragya Singh Thakur in Bhopal with another candidate.

Ms Thakur is one of six sitting MPs who have been denied tickets and 13 sitting MPs have been repeated.

Two-and-a-half months after he stepped down as BJP’s longest-serving chief minister in the country to make way for Mohan Yadav, Mr Chouhan, who has been named the candidate from Vidisha, told NDTV: “I am grateful to the central leadership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief JP Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.”

The former chief minister, who won the seat five times between 1996 and 2005, insisted there were “no ifs” as far as his chances in the upcoming polls were concerned. “I am very close to the people of Vidisha, we are like family. The roadmap for Vidisha is ready. The BJP will win all 29 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh and the state will put 29 garlands on PM Modi,” he said.

Vidisha is considered one of the BJP’s fortresses in the country and was won by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1991 and former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj in 2009 and 2014.

Union Minister and former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia has been named the candidate from Guna, a seat he had held since 2002 until his loss to the BJP’s Krishna Pal Singh Yadav in 2019.

Loyalists Rewarded

At least four of Mr Chouhan’s loyalists have got tickets. Former Bhopal mayor Alok Sharma (who lost from the Bhopal Uttar seat in last year’s Assembly elections) has been fielded from Bhopal, state Kisan Morcha head Darshan Singh Chaudhary from Hoshangabad and sitting MP Rodmal Nagar from Rajgarh.

Anita Nagar Singh Chouhan, who is the wife of the former chief minister’s loyalist, Nagar Singh Chouhan, has been named the candidate for the Ratlam-Jhabua (ST) seat.

Bharat Singh Kushwah, a loyalist of Assembly Speaker and former Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, has been given a ticket from the Gwalior seat despite losing the Assembly polls from the Gwalior Rural constituency last year. Two other loyalists of Mr Tomar, sitting MP Sandhya Rai and former MLA Shivmangal Singh Tomar, have been named as candidates from the Bhind (SC) and Morena seats respectively. These constituencies are in the Gwalior-Chambal region.

MPs Denied Tickets

Apart from Ms Thakur, five other sitting MPs have also been denied tickets.

While Jyotiraditya Scindia has got the ticket from Guna in place of KP Singh Yadav, Rajbahadur Singh, the sitting MP from Sagar, has been replaced by former Women’s Commission chairperson Lata Wankhede.

Anita Nagar Singh Chauhan has replaced GS Damor in Ratlam-Jhabua,

Ramakant Bhargava has made way for Shivraj Chouhan, and former minister Bharat Singh Kushwah getting the ticket in Gwalior meant that Vivek Shejwalkar did not.

The 13 sitting MPs who have been fielded again from their seats include Union minister and 3-time MP Virendra Kumar, who will contest from the Tikamgarh-SC seat. Virendra Kumar Khatik, the seniormost sitting MP, has got the Lok Sabha election ticket for the eighth time.

State BJP chief VD Sharma will contest from Khajuraho, Himadri Singh from Shahdol (ST), Ganesh Singh from Satna and six-time MP Faggan Singh Kulaste from Mandla (ST). Both Mr Singh and Mr Kulaste had contested the Assembly polls and lost.

In the list of 24 candidates, eight are from the OBC community, five are Brahmins and four are women.

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