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Scared of being dumped, Madhya Pradesh BJP MPs queue up for assembly tickets

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The BJP led by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah is known to replace incumbent MPs and MLAs in elections to beat anti-incumbency.

New Delhi: BJP parliamentarians from Madhya Pradesh are scrambling to get tickets for the forthcoming assembly elections, ThePrint has learnt.

This is partly because they’re apprehensive about denial of Lok Sabha tickets, and partly because of their own insecurity due to non-performance as MPs.

The BJP under Narendra Modi and Amit Shah is known to replace incumbent MPs and MLAs in elections to beat anti-incumbency.

BJP leaders said some MPs also harbour ambitions of occupying high office in the state, although there are no indications from the high command that there will be any change of guard. If the BJP wins the elections, Shivraj Singh Chouhan is likely to continue as chief minister.

Also read: Competitive cow politics in Madhya Pradesh as Congress looks to dethrone BJP

It is learnt that Manohar Utawal, the MP from Dewas seat, has showed his willingness to contest assembly polls.

“He had won assembly elections in the state earlier and is looking to contest from Alot or Malwa. He had been a member of SC commission and believes he can land a ministerial portfolio,” said a senior party leader.

Just like Utawal, Anoop Mishra, MP from Morena, is eyeing the Bhitarwar assembly constituency. He is a two-time cabinet minister in Madhya Pradesh.

“There is a reason why he would ask for an assembly ticket. He has been a minister earlier, and has better chances of becoming a minister again. He is deeply involved in state politics,” said a source close to Mishra.

Others seeking assembly tickets include Mandla MP Faggan Singh Kulaste, Bhopal’s Alok Sanjar, Rajgarh’s Rodmal Nagar, Ujjain’s Chintamani Malviya, Mandsaur’s Sudheer Gupta, and Shahdol’s Gyan Singh.

‘Want to stay in national politics’

However, there are also those who don’t want to come back to state politics. A senior MP said though there have been conversations about him contesting the assembly polls, he would like to stick to national politics.

Also read: Pressure mounts within Congress for alliance with Mayawati in MP and Maharashtra

“They are offering me an assembly seat now, which I had wanted earlier. Then it was given to someone else. That person has made it impossible for the BJP to win that seat. I would not mind contesting assembly polls, but given a choice, I would still opt for a Lok Sabha seat,” the MP said.

Party’s wishes

There are also those MPs whom the party wants as assembly candidates. Khajuraho MP Nagendra Singh, the 75-year-old member of the erstwhile royal family of Nagod state, is one of them. But there’s a catch.

“He is interested in getting a ticket for his son, but the party wants him to contest the assembly polls,” a senior party leader said.

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP Ajay Pratap Singh is another potential assembly candidate. Singh, convener for Chouhan’s ‘Jan Aashirwad Yatra’, is being seen as a potential candidate to oppose Congress’s Ajay Arjun Singh, son of former union minister & MP CM Arjun Singh.

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