Tickets were given to those whose names were forwarded by the CM.
It was Shivraj Singh Chouhan all the way in ticket distribution in Madhya Pradesh, the first list of which was announced on Friday evening.
The Central Election Committee (CEC) of the Bharatiya Janata Party, rather than going with the results of the multiple surveys that the party had carried out to find out the winnable candidates, went on the advice of the Chief Minister who is seeking to ensure that the BJP wins for the fourth time in the state.
Top party leaders said that in various seats, the party decided to give tickets to those whose names were forwarded by the CM rather than going by the surveys, including the last such survey which was conducted exclusively among the party workers recently.
“The people will either vote for Shivraj Chouhan or will vote against him as there is no other issue there. So it was prudent that the party gives him the candidates that he asked for rather than strictly go by the names that had come up in the surveys,” a senior party leader told The Sunday Guardian.
In fact, the CEC, reposing its faith in Shivraj Chouhan, prevailed over the suggestions of many other senior leaders who were pushing for their own candidates, whose names had also come in the surveys.
In the 177-candidate list released on Friday, the party denied tickets to 34 sitting MLAs, including three ministers, Gauri Shankar Shejwar, Harsh Singh and Maya Singh. However, many of the MLAs who were denied tickets managed to ensure tickets for their relatives.
In place of Harsh Singh, the party gave a ticket to his son Vikram Singh; in place of Shejwar, to his son, Mudit. MLA from Sabalgarh, Meherban Singh Rawat, was replaced with his daughter-in-law, Sarla. From the Alot seat, the party has given ticket to Jitendra Gehlot who is the son of Union Minister Thawarchand Gehlot.
Similarly, the MLA from Sumawali seat, Satyapal Shikarwar, was replaced with his elder brother Satish. From Chandla seat, Rajesh Prajapati, an alumnus of the National Law Institute University, was given ticket in place of his father, R.D. Prajapati. Laxmikant Sharma, who was a four-time MLA from Sironj seat from 1993-2008 and was made an accused in the Vyapam scam, too, ensured that his brother, Umakant, got the ticket this time.
Uma Bharti’s nephew Rahul Lodhi, too, was given a party ticket, while Sudhir Yadav, who is the son of Sagar Member of Parliament, Laxmi Yadav, too, was given ticket. In the Amarwara seat, the party gave ticket to an individual whose father has been a three-time MLA from the constituency. Same was the story in Karera and Prithvipur seats. In Mangawan, the party gave a ticket to the husband of Panna Bai, who was an MLA from 2008 to 2013. Party sources said that the announcement for the rest of the 54 seats including Indore will be made soon as the party is deliberating on how to handle the request of senior party leaders who are seeking tickets for their kin.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who is an MP from Indore, wants a ticket for her son, Mandar, while party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya wants the party to give a ticket to his son, Aakash.
Two Lok Sabha MPs, Manohar Untwal, who is an MP from Dewas, and Nagendra Singh, who is an MP from Khajuraho, too, have been asked to contest the elections.