Former chief minister Digvijay Singh will not contest the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh but his imprint is visible in the “please all’’ list of 117 names announced by the party on Friday. Besides Singh’s, supporters of Pradesh Congress Committee chief Suresh Pachauri, Union Ministers Arjun Singh, Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia have also been accommodated in the list
Singh’s Raghogarh assembly seat has been handed to his supporter Mool Singh. Among the prominent contestants for the November-end assembly polls are Leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi (Kukshi-ST), former Speaker Sriniwas Tiwari (Sirmour) and former PCC chief Subhash Yadav (Kasrawad).
Relatives also figure prominently in the list. Arjun Singh’s son and sitting MLA Ajay will contest from Churhat. Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi’s brother-in-law Ratnesh Solomon (Jabera) and Jamuna Devi’s nephew Umang Singar (Gandhwani-ST) are on the list that strives to balance old and new faces as well as different factions in the state.
Senior leader Veerappa Moily who headed the screening committee, had called all important leaders from Madhya Pradesh while shortlisting the nominees. According to him, due weightage was given to the suggestions and recommendations of these leaders and their endorsement secured for the candidate who finally gets the ticket.
There is one major lacunae in the list: there is only one Muslim candidate, former minister Arif Aqeel who will contest from Bhopal North. In all, there are 14 women nominees.
Among the former ministers who have been given ticket include Satyadev Katare, Mahindra Bodh, Raghavendra Singh, Parvatlal Ahirwar and Soloman.