Now, BJP is back to by-election test | india | Hindustan Times
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Now, BJP is back to by-election test

WHEN SONIA Gandhi's victory crackers have set Rae Bareli ablaze, the BJP spotlight is back on the Vidisha Lok Sabha seat which will go to by-election sooner or later. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan resigned the seat after his election from the Budhni constituency.

india Updated: May 12, 2006 15:12 IST
Ranjan

WHEN SONIA Gandhi's victory crackers have set Rae Bareli ablaze, the BJP spotlight is back on the Vidisha Lok Sabha seat which will go to by-election sooner or later. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan resigned the seat after his election from the Budhni constituency.

Some young ministers close to the Chief Minister want the party to field his wife Sadhna Singh from the seat, represented by Chouhan for five times in a row. This, they feel, would help the party comfortably win the seat, considered a BJP stronghold.

During Chouhan's maiden Raisen visit as the CM, according to party leaders, some enthusiastic BJP workers had put up an advertisement-- “Ab bhabhi ki bari hai.”

That Sadhna Singh's name began doing the rounds in political circles in Delhi during Chouhan's presence in Delhi today may be a coincidence. However, central BJP leaders, including LK Advani, are learnt to have expressed their surprise at her name.

These leaders feel that the party has paid a heavy price by antagonising Uma Bharti with nominating Shivraj Singh as the CM. The BJP fears that the sadhvi's new party would make a dent into its base. In such a scenario, the leaders feel, if Sadhna Singh is fielded from Vidisha it would further harm the BJP. 

The BJP has a bitter experience when the then chief minister Babulal Gaur's daughter-in-law Krishna Gaur was appointed as the chairperson of the MP State Tourism Development Corporation. She had to resign within a few months of her appointment as it evoked criticism both within and outside the party. 

Veteran BJP leader and former chief minister Sunderlal Patwa is also learnt to be gauging the party leaders' mood if he can throw his hat in the Vidisha ring.

The other names doing the rounds include Minister for Public Health Engineering Rampal Singh and former MLA Ajay Singh Raghuvanshi. Rampal Singh is considered close to the CM and Raghuvanshi is known as CM's rival in the party. Rampal Singh, however, is not keen on giving up his ministerial berth at present.

The CM is said to be interested in fielding a leader who is close to him like Rampal Singh and former Budhni MLA Rajendra Singh.

By having someone close to him, he would not face any difficulty to get the seat vacated and contest LS election if forced by circumstances.

Ever since Chouhan became the Chief Minister, speculations were rife that Varun Gandhi would contest the Vidisha by-election as the BJP nominee.  In present circumstances with squabbles plaguing the party Varun contesting the Vidisha by-election does not appear likely, a senior leader said. However, the party is yet to take a final decision.