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BJP, BJ in dilemma over by-election

india Updated: Sep 01, 2006 14:03 IST

BOTH THE ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and former party stalwart and firebrand leader Uma Bharti’s Bharatiya Janshakti (BJ) appear to be in a dillema at the moment over the candidate for the Vidisha Lok Sabha and Bada Malehra assembly constituencies, where byelections are due in the near future.

Perhaps this is the reason coupled with certain other political equations, which are clouding BJ’s decision on whether to contest the two by-polls. The next two to three days would see a number of parleys on the part of the BJ to take a decision on the crucial matter.

With Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who has been representing the Vidisha parliamentary seat since 15 years, being made the chief minister, the BJP is struggling hard to find a suitable candidate for Vidisha. In fact, in the last one and half decade the party had not thought of any other candidate than Chouhan for the constituency.

The names are still the same doing the rounds for quite some time like Sushma Swaraj, Sunderlal Patwa, Varun Gandhi, Rampal Singh, and Sadhna Singh for the by-poll.

For BJ the choices are comparatively fewer- Uma Bharati and Prahalad Patel. However, given the constituency’s profile loaded in favour of the saffron brigade there is doubt if the sadhvi would like to put her political career at stake by fielding herself in the by-poll. Prahlad Patel too would face the same dillema.

As far Bada Malehra is concerned, the BJP is flooded with bio-data but it is yet to finalise the right candidate. If the size of gathering at the recent party workers meet at Bada Malehra attended by the State BJP president Satyanarayan Jatia and organizing general secretary Kaptan Singh Solanki is any indication the party would have to do a lot of spade work to give a tough fight to the BJ.

If Vidisha can be considered a safe seat for the BJP, the Bharatiya Janshakti may feel confident at Bada Malehra given Uma Bharati’s influence and caste equations. However, if Uma decides to field somebody else from there, the party would have to strive hard to get through the elections, feel political observers.