Internal dissent continued to rankle the state units of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress on Friday, the last date of filing nominations for the November 28 assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh. Things took an extreme turn for the Congress when veteran party leader Prem Singh Kushwah allegedly attempted to commit suicide by consuming poison reportedly over being denied a party ticket from any seat in the Gwalior district. Kushwah, 65, was immediately rushed to the Jai Arogya Hospital in Gwalior, where his condition is said to be stable. He was hoping for a ticket from Gwalior East and Gwalior South.
A suicide note, purportedly written by Kushwah, was widely circulated over social media.
In it, the leader is said to have mentioned that he was pained by rumours about him joining the ruling BJP. The note also mentioned the Congress was giving tickets to those who had joined it from other parties and that it was neglecting the interests of committed party workers.
The principal Opposition party is also facing rebellion in several other parts of the state. Local workers have been protesting in maoist-affected Balaghat district against the party’s choice of Sanjay Singh Masani — brother-in-law of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan — for the Waraseoni seat. Three-time former MLA Pradeep Jaiswal on Thursday filed his nomination as an Independent from the seat. Sources close to him said there is a strong possibility of him and several other Congress leaders quitting the party.
Protests also broke out among the party’s ranks over the leadership’s choice of Naresh Gyanchandani as the candidate for the Huzur seat in Bhopal district. Incidentally, the ruling BJP, which holds the seat currently, is also experiencing opposition over its choice of candidate for the seat from incumbent MLA Jitendra Daga. Daga then filed his nomination as an Independent.
In the adjoining seat of Berasia also, the ruling BJP is seeing dissent against the sitting MLA Vishnu Khatri. Meanwhile, sitting BJP MLA from the Bhind seat, Narendra Kushwah, joined the Samajwadi Party on the same day and filed his nomination as an Independent against the saffron party’s choice for the seat, Chaudhary Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi.
In another significant development, former state finance minister Raghavji filed his nomination as an Independent for the Shamsabad seat after his daughter, Jyoti Shah, was denied a ticket by the BJP. The 84-year-old former minister is facing trial for alleged sodomy, owing to which he had quit the Chouhan government in 2013 and was arrested later. In Ujjain district, supporters of Jitendra Pandya protested outside the party office. Pandya was abruptly denied a ticket on Friday after being named as the party’s candidate for the Badnagar seat earlier.
Anguish over being left out
Things took an extreme turn for the Congress when, veteran party leader Prem Singh Kushwah allegedly attempted to commit suicide by consuming poison reportedly over being denied a ticket.