A day after releasing the second list of 39 candidates for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly polls, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday declared the name of one more candidate, taking the tally so far to 79.
The latest nominee, Monika Batti, is the daughter of the late Manmohan Shah Batti, former president of Akhil Bhartiya Gondwana Party (ABGP). She had joined the ruling party last week.
Monika will contest from the Amarawada (ST) constituency in Chhindwara district, the home district of Congress stalwart Kamal Nath.
The BJP has so far released two lists with 39 poll nominees each since August.
The elections to the 230-member House are due in November this year. The formal schedule has not been declared so far.
In the second list of candidates, the BJP has fielded seven MPs, including three Union ministers. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya will contest from Indore-1 Assembly seat.
Union ministers Faggan Singh Kulaste has been given the ticket from Niwas (ST), Prahlad Singh Patel from Narsinghpur, and Narendra Singh Tomar from Dimni.
Reacting to the BJP giving tickets to sitting Lok Sabha members, MP Congress chief Kamal Nath claimed this is akin to the ruling party conceding defeat in MP and has played its "last bet of false hope".
"By giving assembly tickets to its MPs in Madhya Pradesh, BJP has proved that BJP is neither winning in the 2023 assembly elections nor in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. This simply means that the ruling party has accepted that as a party it has become so infamous that it is not winning elections, so why not bet on the so-called big names only,'” Nath posted on X on Tuesday.
In the 2018 polls, the Congress won 114 seats against the BJP's 109 and the former formed the government under Kamal Nath. It fell in March 2020 after a rebellion by MLAs loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia, paving the way for Shivraj Singh Chouhan to return as CM.
Following by-polls due to legislators switching sides after the rebellion, the BJP now has 126 MLAs in the House, while the Congress has 96.
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