Bhopal/New Delhi: With the Congress declaring senior leader Digvijaya Singh as their contender from Bhopal for the Lok Sabha election, sources say the BJP now finds itself in a huddle ahead of deciding the candidate from the state capital.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Saturday announced that Digvijaya Singh will be contesting from Bhopal, a BJP stronghold since 1989. This came days after he advised Singh to contest from a ‘tough seat’, particularly one that the Congress has not won in 30-35 years.
Former chief minister Digvijaya Singh and incumbent CM Kamal Nath for long have been believed to be locked in a bitter ego fight- after Nath was made the chief minister last December. Soon after the party’s decision to field Singh from Bhopal, rumours arose that Nath engineered this choice- to sabotage Singh’s relevance in the party.
Reportedly, Digvijaya Singh wanted to contest from the Rajgarh seat, which he had won in 1984 and 1991. But, was asked to choose between Indore and Bhopal. Digvijaya Singh’s son, brother and nephew are currently representing three out of eight assembly seats under Rajgarh Lok Sabha seat.
Sources say that the Bhartiya Janata Party is now looking to field a political heavyweight from the Bhopal constituency to take on Digvijaya Singh. Chouhan’s government was dislodged from power in last year’s Assembly election- after a long three-time chief minister term. Reportedly, BJP’s Sadhavi Pragya Thakur has also shown interest in fighting the election against Singh.
The Congress released its first list of nine candidates for Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh which includes party veteran Digvijaya Singh and Meenakshi Natarajan on late Saturday night. The state has 29 parliamentary seats.
Meenakshi Natarajan, a close confidant of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, will again take on Sudhir Gupta, the sitting BJP MP, in Mandsaur. Natarajan, former Mandsaur MP, had lost to Gupta by a huge margin in 2014.
The list has three other women candidates. Kavita Singh Natiraja will contest from Khajuraho, Kiran Ahirwar from Tikamgarh and Pramila Singh from Shahdol.
Shailendra Diwan will contest from Hoshangabad, former Union minister and sitting MP Kantilal Bhuria from Ratlam, Ramu Tekam from Betul and Madhu Bhagat will fight the election from Balaghat