Three Union ministers – Narendra Singh Tomar, Prahlad Singh Patel and Faggan Singh Kulaste – have made it to the BJP’s second list of candidates for the Madhya Pradesh elections. The new list was announced hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a massive gathering of BJP workers in Bhopal.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar hails from Dimani, Prahlad Patel (Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Jal Shakti) from Narsingpur and Faggan Singh Kulaste (Minister of State for Rural Development and Steel) from Niwas seat.
The party is yet to announce the name of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya has also been included in the list. He will contest from Indore-1 seat. His admission has ended the possibility of his son Akash getting a ticket. According to sources, the central leadership is angry with Akash over an incident in 2019 when he attacked a civic body official in Indore with a cricket bat.
Three party MPs – Uday Pratap Singh, Riti Pathak and Ganesh Singh – are also part of the second list and will contest against Gadarwara, Sidhi and Satna respectively.
The BJP could use the same formula to appoint Union ministers and MPs in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan – both ruled by the Congress.
In Telangana too, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy could contest the Assembly elections, the sources said.
Imarti Devi, a loyalist of Jyotiraditya Scindia – whose 2020 coup had toppled the Congress government in the state – is also on the list.
The BJP’s first list for Madhya Pradesh also contained 39 names.
Madhya Pradesh is one of the five states, along with Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram, that will go to the polls later this year. Only one of these states has a BJP government.
In the last Assembly elections in 2018, the Congress came to power and formed the government with senior leader Kamal Nath as the chief minister. However, the BJP formed the government in 2020 after the then Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, along with 22 MLAs, switched sides.