Bhopal: In its first list for the upcoming assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has focused on seats it lost in 2018 and some of them even in 2013, and has reposed faith in 14 candidates, including three former ministers, who lost last time.
In what appears to be a change in strategy, the BJP on Thursday released its first list of 39 candidates, including five women, in Madhya Pradesh even before the announcement of poll schedule, stealing a march over its main rival Congress in terms of election preparedness and finalisation of nominees.
Madhya Pradesh, where assembly polls are due by the year-end, has a 230-member House.
Last week, the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), a marginal player in the central state known for its bipolar politics, had released its first list of seven candidates, becoming the first political party to do so.
The 39 seats for which the BJP has announced its candidates were lost by the saffron party in the last assembly polls held in November 2018, almost all of them to the Congress which formed its government in December that year, but was ousted from power in March 2020.
Of these 39 assembly seats, the BJP had failed to win some in 2013 too.
A cursory look at the list, which includes a number of seats reserved for SC/ST candidates, indicates the BJP has reposed faith in 14 candidates, including three former state ministers — Lalsingh Arya, Lalit Yadav and Omprakash Dhurwey — who lost elections five years ago.
Rajkumar Karrahe, who resigned from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday morning, found his name in the list announced in New Delhi in the evening. The BJP has fielded him from Lanji in Balaghat district.
As per the list signed by BJP general secretary Arun Singh, Dhruv Narayan Singh and Alok Sharma will contest polls from Central Bhopal and North Bhopal, respectively, while former minister Arya and Pritam Lodhi will be in the field from Gohad (SC) and Pichhore in Shivpuri district, respectively.
Sarla Vijendra Rawat (Sabalgarh), Adal Singh Kansana (Sumawali), Priyanka Meena (Chahoura), Jagannath Singh Raghuvanshi (Chanderi), Veerendra Singh Lambardar (Banda), Kamakhya Pratap Singh (Maharajpur), Lalita Yadav (Chhatarpur), Lakhan Patel (Patharyia), Rajesh Kumar Verma (Gunndaor-SC), Surendra Singh Gaharwar (Chitrakoot), Heersingh Shyam (Pushrajgarh-ST), Dhirendra Singh (Barwara-ST), Neeraj Thakur (Bargi) and Anchal Sonkar (Jabalpur East) are among the candidates.
The other contestants include Omprakash Dhurwey (Shahpura-ST), Dr Vijay Anand Marawai (Bichhiya- ST), Bhagat Singh Netam (Baihar-ST), Kamal Maskole (Barghat-ST), Mahendra Nagesh (Gotegaon-SC), Nanabhau Mohod (Saunsar), Prakash Uikey (Pandhurna-ST) and Chandrashekhar Deshmukh (Multai).
Mahendra Singh Chouhan (Bhainsdehi-ST), Rajesh Sonkar (Sonkatch-SC), Rajkumar Mev (Maheshwar-SC), Atmaram Patel (Kasrawad), Nagr Singh Chouhan (Alirajpur-ST), Bhanua Bhuriya (Jhabua ST), Nirmala Bhuriya (Petlawad-ST), Jaydeep Patel (Kukshi ST), Kalu Singh Thakur (Dharampuri-ST), Madhua Verma (Rau,) Tarachand Goyal (Tarana-SC) and Satish Malivya (Ghatiya -SC) were also nominated by the BJP to contest polls.