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OpinionsBJP Choice of Candidates to Rajya Sabha in Madhya Pradesh surprises members

BJP Choice of Candidates to Rajya Sabha in Madhya Pradesh surprises members


Congress's lone nominee Ashok Singh is close to both Kamal Nath and Digvijay Singh

By L S Herdenia

Madhya Pradesh witnessed about half a dozen dramatic developments during last three to four days. The developments included nominations to Rajya Sabha both by the BJP and Congress, sudden en-mass removal of about 46 Chairmen of Government corporations and Boards, emergent dinner party for Congress legislators by former chief minister Kamal Nath and exodus of several Congress leaders to join the BJP.

Both the BJP and Congress nominated such party men to Rajya Sabha who were least expected. The most surprising BJP nominee is Umesh Nath Maharaj, a Sadhu and mathadeesh (head) of the Valmiki Dham Ashram of Ujjain, the city the Chief Minister represents. The other two new faces are Maya Naroliya – state BJP Mahila Morcha president and Bansilal Gurjar- vice president of the BJP Kisan Morcha. The fourth is Union Minister of state L. Murugan, who hails from Tamil Nadu, who has been given a second term.

Murugan was elected to the Rajya Sabha on October 4, 2021 after the seat was vacated by Thawar Chand Gehlot. His term in the upper House was for two-and-half years only and he was nominated again from Madhya Pradesh for full term of six years.

Most party leaders and workers are yet to comprehend how a sadhu from Ujjain who is not associated with the party got nominated for the upper house. Bansilal Gurjar missed the party's ticket for Lok Sabha election 2014 from Mandsaur when the party fielded Sudhir Gupta. He is a farmer leader and joined BJP in 1980 and had been aspiring to contest assembly elections from Mandsaur, Manasa and Suwasra seats, but never got fielded.

Maya Narolia is known to be close to veteran BJP leader Vikram Verma. She became state BJP Mahila Morcha President in 2021. Earlier, she was general secretary of the BJP women's cell from 2017.

State BJP president VD Sharma argued, ”The party has nominated four dedicated workers as candidates, who have also played important social roles. BJP has selected two workers from SC category and two persons from backward class. The party leadership has made Umesh Nath Maharaj the Rajya Sabha candidate for working for the welfare of the Valmiki community in the country and the state”.

The state party chief explained that women empowerment has been a priority of the BJP “For this purpose, the party has made state president of Mahila Morcha, Maya Narolia, its Rajya Sabha candidate. I express my gratitude to the central leadership for this and congratulate all the candidates” VD Sharma said.

The Congress name also came as a surprise. Amid major speculation that former CM Kamal Nath was being considered for Rajya Sabha, AICC sprang a surprise by announcing the name of Congress treasurer Ashok Singh as its candidate for the lone seat from MP.

Ashok Singh is the son of former Congress minister Rajendra Singh and is known to be close to senior leaders Kamal Nath as well as Digvijaya Singh. Senior party leader Kamal Nath took to X and congratulated Ashok Singh on his candidature for the Rajya Sabha elections. “Hearty congratulations to Ashok Singh on being made the Congress party's official candidate for Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh” @Office-ofKNath tweeted.

Ashok Singh was repeatedly fielded as Congress party's Lok Sabha election candidate from Gwalior but lost every time. In 2007 he was fielded in the Gwalior Lok Sabha seat by-election against BJP's Yashodhara Raje Scindia and lost by a margin of 36,474 votes. He was again fielded from the same constituency in the 2009 Parliamentary elections against BJP‘s Yashodhara Raje and this time lost by 26,591 votes.

On Tuesday evening there was a dinner party thrown by Kamal Nath, The party was almost certain that the former CM was going to the Rajya Sabha and would file his nomination on Thursday, Feb 15 – the last day. But on Wednesday evening, the party announced Ashok Singh as candidate for Rajya Sabha.

The seat is being vacated after party's OBC face Rajmani Patel completes his six year tenure on April 12. “After BJP nominated Mohan Yadav as CM, Congress has been looking for a Yadav leader for a prominent role. Ashok Singh comes from the Yadav community and this could have been a major reason for this selection” a senior PCC spokesman argued.

Meanwhile the Chief Minister in a surprise move removed 46 Chairmen of Government Corporations and Boards. The en-massed removal is being regarded as a great setback to former Chief Minister Shiv Raj Singh Chouhan, as all of them were the appointees of Chouhan. (IPA Service)






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