MP Elections 2023: Brothers Who Made Hoshangabad A BJP Bastion Are Political Rivals Today

MP Elections 2023: Brothers Who Made Hoshangabad A BJP Bastion Are Political Rivals Today

Two brothers and seasoned politicians -- Sitasaran Sharma and Girija Shankar Sharma -- will be contesting against each other for the first time in their four-decade long political career.

IANSUpdated: Sunday, October 22, 2023, 03:12 PM IST
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Sitasaran Sharma (L) and Girija Shankar Sharma (R) |

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Until a couple of days ago, political circles were abuzz with speculation that BJP may deny ticket to one of its old loyalists, the Sharma family, that made the Hoshangabad Assembly seat a bastion of the saffron party for 33 years.

Now, two brothers and seasoned politicians -- Sitasaran Sharma and Girija Shankar Sharma -- will be contesting against each other for the first time in their four-decade long political career. The BJP released its fifth list of 92 candidates for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Saturday, retaining the incumbent legislature and former State Assembly Speaker Sitasarn Sharma from the Hoshangabad seat. The Congress has already fielded his younger brother and two-time former MLA (from BJP) Girija Shankar Sharma from Hoshangabad seat in the first list released on October 16.

He joined the Congress, leaving his four-decade long association with the saffron party in September. After joining the Congress, Girija Shankar stated that if the BJP would field his elder brother and ex-speaker Sitasarn Sharma from the family bastion -- Hoshangabad, then he would not campaign against his brother. Girija Shankar had then also vowed that he will ensure that BJP will not retain the seat in the forthcoming polls.

'BJP's comeback not in state's favour'

"BJP coming back to power in the state is not in the state's larger interest and will make all possible not let it happen." Now, it would be interesting to see how these two brothers, who are candidates from two rival political parties, would campaign for the election, and who wins the electoral battle. Sharma brothers were yet to make any comment after being fielded against each other.

IANS made several attempts to get a response from Sitasran Sharma, however, calls were not responded so far.

Political observers claimed the BJP has fielded Sitasaran Sharma fearing that it may lose Hoshangabad seat that has been a bastion of Sharma family for the last four decades.

The Brahmin angle

Two sons of the powerful Brahmin Sharma family of Narmadapuram district had won the Hoshangabad Assembly seat (formerly Itarsi seat) seven consecutive times between 1990 and 2018, thus making it a bastion of the saffron party for 33 years. Sitting MLA and former Vidhan Sabha Speaker Sitasaran Sharma held the seat five times (1990, 1993, 1998, 2013 and 2018). Before him, his elder brother Girija Shankar Sharma held fort here between 2003 and 2008. Girija Shankar Sharma's resignation from the primary membership of the BJP took place at a time when there was buzz that the BJP was likely to deny a ticket to anyone from the Sharma family to contest from the Hoshangabad seat for the first time in 33 years.

Several BJP leaders from Hoshangabad district -- Rajesh Sharma, Maya Narolia, Akhilesh Khandelwal, Bhagwati Choure, Sandesh Purohit, Deepak Agrawal, Umesh Patel and many more have been demanding the state leadership to change the candidate, however, the party retained him and made it 'brother vs brother'. The Sharma brothers are above 70 years of age. The Hoshangabad seat is one of the four seats of Narmadapuram district (earlier named Hoshangabad district). All four seats were won by the BJP in 2018.

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