Bhopal: Dissidents in the BJP, particularly in Shahdol division, may disturb the poll prospects of saffron party in the upcoming Assembly elections. Five out of 8 seats in three districts of the division are with the BJP while the Congress pocketed three seats.
Of the eight seats, 7 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST). In 2013 polls, the BJP won two seats each in Shahdol and Umaria and one in Anupur. This time some rebel candidates, who have filed nominations, may queer the party pitch. Both the mainstream parties, BJP and Congress, lack strong leader in this region. Bisahulal Singh of Congress and MP Gyan Singh of BJP are two big leaders from this region. As there is no big issue here, local people maintain that the rebels may cause concern for the ruling party.
Out of three seats in the district, Congress won the Beohari seat. This time the opposition party has retained MLA Rampal Singh from this seat. Sharad Kaul from the BJP, Tejpratap Kaul from Gondwana Gantantra Party (GGP) and Ramvishal of BSP are other contestants. Local BJP leader Viresh Singh Rinku is quite annoyed over ticket distribution and his dissension may help Congress immensely. As far as the BJP is concerned, it dropped sitting MLA Pramila Singh from Jaisinghnagar seat and fielded Jaisingh Maravi.
Maravi is a sitting MLA from Jaitpur and the party has changed his seat. The Congress has fielded Dhyan Singh Marco from this seat. It is said that the seat would witness direct contest. In Jaitpur, the BJP has given ticket to Manisha Singh Gond while the Congress has fielded Uma Dhurvey. The contest has become interesting with both the parties fielding women candidates. Here Baiga and Gond voters will decide the outcome of the polls.
From Bandhavgarh of Umaria district, BJP has retained MLA Shivnarayan Singh while Congress has given ticket to Gayatri Singh. Shivnarayan, son of MP Gyan Singh, became MLA by winning the bypolls. The BJP candidate is said to be a frontrunner from this seat. BJP has fielded MLA Meena Singh as its candidate from Manpur while Congress has given ticket to Gyanvati Singh, who lost the assembly elections last time. The BJP is said to be strong on this seat too.
Kotma seat of Anuppur district is the only general seat in the area. This time, Congress has denied ticket to its sitting MLA Manoj Agarwal and given ticket to Ramnaresh Garg. But, Agarwal has filed nomination papers in protest. The BJP has fielded Dilip Jaiswal from this seat. Rajesh Soni, who was given ticket from this seat last time, has also filed nominations. The dissidence of certain leaders of both the parties has made the contest tough.
From Anupur, the BJP has given ticket to sitting MLA Ramlal Rotel while Congress has once again fielded Bisahulal Singh. Bisahulal was a former MLA from this. His chances are bright from this seat. In Pushparajgarh, Congress has fielded Phundelal Marco while BJP has named Narendra Maravi. BJP’s former MLA Sudama Singh has upset the poll prospects of saffron party by filing his nominations. With Singh entering into the election fray, the contest would become tough.