BJP banks on sympathy factor to win by-polls in MP

Published on Oct 25, 2015 10:08 PM IST

With the BJP Madhya Pradesh election committee finalising the names of Bhuria and Raje, the party seems to have gone back to the conventional strategy of giving nomination to the kin of the leader whose death necessitated the by-elections.

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, senior party leader Kailash Joshi and others during BJP state election committee meeting in Bhopal on Sunday.(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT photo)
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, senior party leader Kailash Joshi and others during BJP state election committee meeting in Bhopal on Sunday.(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT photo)
Hindustan Times | ByRahul Noronha, Bhopal

The election committee of the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) met on Sunday morning and recommended names of Nirmala Bhuria for the upcoming Lok Sabha by-election in Ratlam-Jhabua and Gayatri Raje as the party candidate for the Dewas vidhan sabha by-election.

The Ratlam Lok Sabha and Dewas Vidhan Sabha constituencies are scheduled to go to polls on November 21.

With the election committee finalising the names of Bhuria and Raje, the BJP seems to have gone back to the conventional strategy of giving party nomination to the kin of the leader whose death necessitated the by-elections.

The party will be looking to take maximum advantage of the sympathy factor in the forthcoming by-polls.

The move comes after the party decided not to give the Garoth ticket to a family member of Rajesh Yadav, whose death had necessitated a by-election there.

Four-time MLA Nirmala Bhuria is the daughter of late Dilip Singh Bhuria, the former MP from Ratlam (ST), while Gayatri Raje is the widow of late Tukoji Puar, the former MLA from Dewas.

While Nirmala Bhuria is an established politician and a four-time MLA, Gayatri Raje has thus far maintained distance from politics.

Tukoji Puar’s son Vikram was being groomed as his political heir but chances of him getting the ticket diminished after he was booked for murder.

Earlier, during the by-elections in Bahoriband assembly segment, the BJP had given the ticket to Pranay Pandey, son of late MLA Prabhat Pandey.

Pranay, however, lost the election, suggesting no sympathy factor was at work. Later, in the by-elections in Garoth assembly segment, the party changed its strategy and gave the ticket to a local worker instead of a family member of Rajesh Yadav, and won.

“Conventional political wisdom dictates that on the demise of a popular leader, the party gives the ticket to a member of the family in the expectation of capitalising on the sympathy factor. Most often this pays off as well,” said political commentator Girija Shankar.

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