In a dramatic move, Congress announced fifth list nominating senior BJP leader Sartaj Singh from Honshangabad minutes after he joined Congress after being denied ticket by the party.
Singh a former union minister served the Madhya Pradesh government in various ministries in the past but was shunted from the cabinet in unceremonious manner in 2016 on 75 plus age criteria and was at odds with the party ever since then.
A politician with strong ground connect, Singh has distinction of defeating the Congress veteran late Arjun Singh in 1998 Lok Sabha polls from Hoshangabad.
Singh was adamant on a ticket once again from Seoni-Malwa which he represented currently but the party had told him in unequivocal terms that he won’t be given re-nomination.
The upset Singh on Thursday went to Hoshangabad and even was seen in tears after BJP third list denied him ticket.
He had even claimed that justice is not being done to seniors like him in BJP. “I won’t die suffocating at home. I would take to the battlefield and would die like a martyr,” said a pained 78-year-old.
He announced to join Congress soon after. Barely half an hour later, Congress announced its list fielding Singh from Hoshangabad against assembly speaker Sitasaran Sharma.
Sources claim Congress was looking for a formidable opponent to field against Sharma, The party however did not name anyone from Seoni Malwa.
After the BJP has announced Babulal Gaur’s daughter-in-law Krishna from Govindpura in Bhopal, Congress too named senior corporator Girish Sharma from Govindpura. A confident Sharma had already filed nomination on Thursday.
The party nominated Naresh Gyanchandani, a prominent Sindhi community leader from Huzur seat in Bhopal. Shivjeet Singh has been ticket from Panna where BJP is in dilemma over denial of ticket to minister Kusum Mahdele.
Basilal Verma nominated earlier from Devsar has been replaced with Rambhajan Saket. Manpur seat where Tilak Raj Singh was named earlier was shown as pending for candidature in the list.
Farmer union leader Umrao Singh Gurjar has been named from Manada in Neemuch which had sizzled in farmers’ protest in 2017. The party named 15 candidates, replaced one and rolled back one name in the list of 17.