statesman news service
Bhopal, 4 November
Voices of discontentment, which were hitherto latent, have now come out in the open in the form of revolts, resignations and demonstrations, soon after the BJP and the Congress declared their respective first lists of candidates for the Madhya Pradesh state Assembly elections scheduled for this month end.
The dissent appears much greater within the BJP. In its first list of 147 candidates, the party has denied ticket to nearly 19 of its sitting MLAs, including three ministers while naming 11 new candidates.
A major loss to the party is the resignation of minister of state for panchayat and rural development, Mr Devi Singh Sayyam. A tribal leader and MLA from Mandla constituency, Mr Sayyam quit the party in disgust after being denied a ticket for these elections. He is most likely to join the Gondwana Ganatantra Party (GGP) and contest on their ticket. Mr Sayyam said he would try and ensure the BJP&’s defeat in all 17 Assembly seats in the Mahakaushal area.
Another sitting BJP MLA, Mr Devendra Patel from Silwani in Raisen district has also resigned from the party and joined the Congress.
The BJP is facing severe opposition and revolts within the party ranks against some of the declared candidates, including few ministers. A huge protest rally led by BJP Leader Yogendra Mandloi from Hoshangabad, staged a demonstration at the state BJP headquarters in Bhopal against state forests minister, Mr Sartaj Singh, who has been given a ticket again.
The family and supporters of state PWD minister Mr Nagendra Singh, from Nagod, are also learnt to have not taken too well the party&’s decision to deny a ticket to Mr Singh this time.
In Bhopal, BJP supporters have launched a protest against former MP, Mr Arif Baig, who has been named as a candidate from Bhopal (north) constituency. BJP leader and Bhopal district&’s former general secretary Ravindra Awasthi has gone to the extent of threatening that he would contest as an Independent against Mr Baig, if the party did not change the candidate.
In Indore, all members of the BJP traders’ cell have resigned in protest of denial of ticket to traders’ cell state coordinator, Gopikrishna Nema.
The Congress faces several revolts too. State Congress Secretary and AICC member Ms Kalawati Bhuria resigned from her post after being denied a ticket. In Ms Bhuria&’s support, at least 15 sarpanchs of various panchayats in the area have resigned from their posts.
Similarly, former Congress MLA from Shamshabad, Rudrapratap Singh has also resigned from the party after his name did not figure in the party candidate list.
The district Congress chief in Umaria district has resigned from the post in protest, while former minister and senior Congress leader Mr Narendra Nahta has expressed anger and displeasure over the party&’s first list.