In a significant development within the BJP, the party has decided to field chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Vidisha seat. He will now contest from two seats- Vidisha and Budhni. He filed nomination papers from Budhni a couple of days back.
Vidisha is being represented in the state assembly by ex-finance minister Raghavji who is facing sodomy charges from his servant. Chouhan represented Vidisha Lok Sabha seat five times in a row from 1991 to 2006.
Chouhan’s candidature was decided after a closed door meeting attended by Chouhan, leader Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, state BJP president Narendra Singh Tomar, general secretary (organisation) Arvind Menon Thursday night. The meeting went on for several hours.
An announcement to the effect was made by Swaraj at her bungalow before the party workers. Chouhan would file the nomination papers from Vidisha on Friday.
She said people of Vidisha urged Chouhan to contest from Vidisha, hence the decision. He would now contest from two seats.
A section of party workers from Vidisha staged a dharna at Tomar’s bungalow throughout the day demanding Chouhan’s candidature from Vidisha. However, the workers demand was supposed to be a part of a script written by the BJP leaders in advance to secure the seat in the face of intense infighting in the party over candidature for the seat.
Vidisha emerged the most complex assembly seat for the BJP as this remained only seat out of the total 230 for which the party could not decide candidature till late Thursday night.
As per the BJP’s fourth list of candidates announced on Thursday night, party dropped the sitting MLAs on Bhopal central and Huzur seats in Bhopal. Surendra Nath Singh, a close confidant of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was declared candidate for Bhopal Central in place of sitting MLA Dhruv Narayan Singh while Rameshwar Sharma would be the candidate from Huzur in place of sitting MLA Jitendra Daga.
There was already apprehension on the name of Dhruv Narayan Singh as senior party leaders except a few like Kailash Joshi were of the view that if he was repeated as the candidate this would have adverse impact not only on Bhopal Central seat but some other seats too in Bhopal. His name had figured in Shehla Masood murder case as the politician who was close to Shela Masood and the accused Zahida Parvez both.