Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Throwing a major surprise, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday released its first list of candidates for 39 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh, including 11 seats in Malwa-Nimar region, three months in advance.
In Malwa-Nimar region, the saffron party has repeated candidates on six seats whereas new candidates have been fielded on five other seats.
The party declared list of 11 candidates viz five on seats reserved for ST, four on seats reserved for SC and two for general seats.
Though the party declared only one candidate i.e Madhu Verma on Rau seat in Indore district, two Indoreans have been fielded each from Maheshwar and Sonkatch constituencies. While the two-time Rajkumar Mev has been given ticket for Maheshwar, former MLA from Sanwer has been fielded for Sonkatch.
Decks cleared for Silawat as Sonkar moves to Sonkatch
One of the biggest surprises in the list was the ticket given to Indore-based Rajesh Sonkar from Sonkatch seat, which is represented by MLA Sajjan Singh Verma who is a former cabinet minister in Kamal Nath’s government.
Verma had suffered a defeat against the then Congress candidate and Tulsi Silawat at Sanwer seat in 2018. Later, Silawat had resigned and crossed over to the BJP. In 2019 by-polls, he had registered victory by a huge margin of 53,264 votes on BJP ticket.
It then became clear that Sonkar won’t be getting ticket from Sanwer at least for elections due in 2023. However, he never resorted to playing spoilsport to Silawat which resulted in BJP rewarded him with a ticket from Sonkatch. With this, the decks got cleared for Silawat’s ticket from Sanwer.
Party does not find replacement to Verma
Precisely as it was expected, the party fielded Madhu Verma again from Rau constituency which is represented by the two-time Congress MLA Jitu Patwari. Former minister Patwari had defeated Verma in 2018 by a margin of 5,703 votes. The saffron party did not find a better candidate than Verma so obliged him overlooking candidature of Jitu Jirati, Mandhar Mahajan and others. Verma is a two-time IDA chairman and held Mayor-in-Council (MiC) position twice in the IMC.
BJP again shows faith in Rajkumar Mev
Rajkumar Mev, who was denied ticket by the BJP in 2018 polls, has been obliged this time. Mew had contested election for the first time against Congress candidate Vijaylaxmi Sadho in 2008 and lost by nearly 650 votes. As Sadho later was nominated to Rajya Sabha, by-elections were held at Maheshwar seat. Mev had defeated Sadho’s brother and was elected as MLA for the first time. He was re-elected in 2013. The BJP denied ticket to him in 2018. To this, he contested election as an independent candidate and got more votes than the BJP candidate.
Candidates changed on these seats
Ghatiya (SC) – Satish Malviya, who had defeated Congress candidate Ramlal Malviya in 2013, has been granted ticket. Ramlal Malviya had defeated BJP candidate Ajit Premchand Guddu in 2018 assembly elections by a margin of 4,628 votes.
Tarana (SC) – This seat had been a stronghold of the BJP but was wrested by Congress candidate Mahesh Parmar in 2018 by defeating Anil Firojiya by a margin of 2,209 votes. The BJP has fielded Tarachand Goyal, ex-MLA from the same constituency in 2003, this time.
Dharampuri (ST) – Panchilal Meda of Congress had defeated Gopal Kannoj of the BJP by a margin of 13,972 votes in 2018. The saffron party changed the candidate this time and fielded Kalu Singh Thakur.
Kukshi (ST) -- Congress candidate Surendra Singh Baghel had defeated Virendra Singh Baghel of the BJP by a margin of 62,930 votes in 2018. BJP changed the candidate and has given ticket to Jaydeep Patel this time.
Sonkatch (SC) -- Sajjan Singh Verma had defeated Rajendra Verma by 9,818 votes in the last assembly polls. BJP changed the candidate and has given ticket to Indore-based Rajesh Sonkar.
Candidates repeated on following seats
Rau – Madhu Verma lost by 5,703 votes again against two-time MLA and former cabinet minister in Kamal Nath government, Jitu Patwari.
Petlawad (ST) – Nirmala Bhuria had suffered a defeat at the hands of Val Singh Maida in 2018 polls by 5,000 votes.
Jhabua (ST) – Bhanu Bhuria had lost the by-polls in 2019 by a margin of 27,804 votes against Kantilal Bhuria.
Alirajpur (ST) -- Nagar Singh Chouhan had suffered a defeat by 21,962 votes against Congress candidate Mukesh Rawat in 2018.
Kasrawad -- Atmaram Patel had seen a defeat by 5,539 votes in 2018.
Maheshwar (SC) – Rajkumar Mev, who had lost by 35,836 votes against Vijayalaxmi Sadho as an independent candidate.