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Madhya Pradesh
All’s not fair in electoral battle
Our Roving Editor Man Mohan writes from Indore

All the political parties have not been fair to the fair sex. Both main rivals the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress have fielded candidates in 228 constituencies each. They are facing dissidence over the allotment of tickets and many aspirants have become 'turncoats' to remain in the fray. Many women leaders of both parties are upset and have not been participating in the campaigns as they were denied ticket.

The BJP has fielded only 23 women candidates this time, while 29 women are in the fray on the Congress ticket. There are 13 from Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, and 18 from Uma Bharti's Bharatiya Janshakti Party. Seven BJP MPs are also seeking assembly election.

However, in politics close relations of the top party leaders always matter and they try to be in the game of power by contesting elections.

In the Madhya Pradesh assembly poll arena, there are many such close relations of top leaders from all the parties. Some of them are, however, veterans.

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s nephew Anup Mishra (BJP - Gwalior East), Union minister Arjun Singh’s son Ajay Singh (Congress - Churhat), former Chief Minister Sunderlal Patwa’s nephew Surendra Patwa (BJP - Bhojpur), his predecessor late Virendra Kumar Sakhlecha’s son Om Prakash (BJP - Jawad) and former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi’s brother-in-law Ratnesh Solomon (Cong - Jabera) are trying their luck.

Former chief ministers Uma Bharti (Bharatiya Janshakti Party - Tikamgarh) and Babulal Gaur (BJP - Govindpura), senior BJP leader Kailash Sarang’s son Vishwas (BJP - Narela), political turncoat Dilip Singh Bhuria’s daughter Nirmala (BJP - Petlawad), former speaker late Brijmohan Mishra’s daughter Archana Chitnis (BJP - Burhanpur), former governor Gulsher Ahmed’s son Syed Ahmed (Cong - Satna), Union Minister Kantilal Bhuria’s nephew Veer Singh (Cong - Thandla) and former speaker Shriniwas Tiwari (Cong - Sirmour) are also in the race.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is seeking re-election from Budhni in Sehore district. Assembly Speaker Ishwardas Rohani (BJP) is again in the fray from Jabalpur cantonment.

Former Congress Chief Minister and AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, who ruled the state for 10 years, has kept himself away from the electoral battle though he was a member of the 12th Vidhan Sabha. His younger brother, Laxman Singh, is a BJP MP (earlier, he was in the Congress).

Former Union minister and MP Congress chief Suresh Pachouri is not contesting the assembly election. The party leaders are of the view that if the Congress comes to power then he will be made the chief minister and will contest from a seat which will be made vacant for him.

BJP veteran and former Chief Minister Babulal Gaur, who was first elected to the assembly in a byelection in 1974, is trying his luck for the ninth time as a BJP candidate from Govindpura.

Though the state presidents of both the BJP and the Congress, Narendra Singh Tomar and Suresh Pachouri, respectively, are not in the fray, the state president of Uma Bharti's Bharatiya Janshakti Party, Ashok Tripathi, is trying his luck from Bioara.

State Mahila Congress president Shobha Ojha (Cong-Indore Five), state NSUI president Rashmi Pawar (Cong-Gwalior South) and state Youth Congress president Jitu Patwari (Rau) are other prominent candidates.

In Bhopal, present Congress Mayor Sunil Sood (Narela), former mayors Vibha Patel (Cong-Govindpura), Uma Shankar Gupta (BJP-Bhopal South) and Deepchand Yadav (Cong-Bhopal South) are in the electoral fray.



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