BJP has been facing severe rebellion within the party after the declaration of two lists of 194 candidates, for the ensuing assembly elections. Several party leaders are threatening to contest as independents. Former chief minister and MLA Babulal Gaur and his daughter-in-law threatened to contest as independent candidates from Bhopal’s Govindpura constituency, if the party denied them tickets. The BJP is planning to drop Gaur.
In a major blow to BJP, Chief Minister Shivaraj Singh Chouhan’s brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani switched to Congress on Saturday, saying “Kamal Nath is my leader and the era of Shivraj Singh is over in Madhya Pradesh’’. Later, he lambasted the Chouhan government on a slew of issues. The defection of Sanjay Sharma Masani, a sitting BJP MLA, to the Congress has dealt a big blow to the ruling dispensation in Mahakaushal region. Masani, a powerful leader from Narsinghpur, has represented the Tendukheda constituency twice.
Earlier, Kamlapat Arya, a Dalit BJP leader from Chambal, Padma Shukla from Katni and many others surprised BJP by defecting to Congress.Shukla and Sanjay Sharma have also been given tickets by the Congress.
In Bhopal region, veteran leader Sartaj Singh expressed his displeasure for not being given a party ticket. Sartaj was dropped from the state cabinet last year. Similarly, in Bhopal, Dhruv Narayan Singh, another senior leader of the BJP, openly organised a protest against the BJP’s decision to not give him a ticket from the central Bhopal constituency that he represented five years ago.
In Bundelkhand’s Tikamgarh region, BJP’s sitting MLA KK Srivastava accused a senior party leader of taking money from the new candidate, while in neighbouring Prithvipur and Jatara, leaders expressed dissent openly in front of the media. In Chhatarpur too, leaders from the Badamalehra constituency, which was once represented by Uma Bharti, expressed their unhappiness about an outsider candidate standing for the election.
Justifying anti-incumbency against the legislatures, the BJP has dropped 34 sitting MLA’s names, including three ministers. However, it has given seats again to 22, who were defeated in last elections.