BJP announces second list for Madhya Pradesh elections. (Representational)
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 Madhya Pradesh polls. 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 has been fielded 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.
Mr Tomar will contest the Vidhan Sabha elections after two decades. He last won the assembly polls from Gwalior for the second time in a row in 2003.
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, a decade after he won the Mhow seat of native Indore district for the second time in 2013. He will contest from Indore-1 seat. His inclusion has ended any possibility of his son Akash getting a ticket. According to sources, the central leadership is upset with Akash over a 2019 incident when he attacked a civic body official in Indore with a cricket bat.
Four Lok Sabha members have also featured in the list. Four-time MP from Satna seat Ganesh Singh has been fielded from his current seat, second-time sitting MP Riti Pathak from Sidhi Lok Sabha seat has been given ticker for Sishi assembly seat, four-time Jabalpur MP Rakesh Singh will contest from Jabalpur-West and third time MP from Hoshangabad seat Uday Pratap Singh will be in the fray from Gadarwara seat of Narsinghpur district.
Sidhi assembly seat is presently held by BJP MLA Kedarnath Shukla. It is being speculated that he is being denied the ticket over his alleged supporter Pravesh Shukla's video of urinating on a tribal man.
The BJP might use the same formula of naming Union Ministers and MPs in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan - both ruled by Congress.
In Telangana too, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy might contest assembly polls, the sources said.
Imarti Devi, a loyalist of Jyotiraditya Scindia - whose 2020 coup had toppled the Congress government in the state - has also figured in the list.
The BJP's first list for Madhya Pradesh also had 39 candidates for the election to the 230-member assembly.
Madhya Pradesh is one of five states, along with Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram, which are scheduled to go to poll later this year. Only one of these states has a BJP government.
In the last assembly election 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 then Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, along with 22 MLAs, switched sides.