The BJP's forthcoming fifth list of candidates for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh Assembly election is anticipated to be highly impactful, according to party insiders quoted by NDTV.
Home Minister Narottam Mishra, when questioned about the list, exclaimed, "List dhamakedar hee hogi (The list will be explosive). Aage dhamake hee dhamake hone wale hain, Diwali ka tyohar aane wala hai (Expect fireworks; Diwali is ahead)."
The ruling party resolved the suspense on Monday over the electoral fate of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and 24 ministers among 57 sitting lawmakers in the fourth list, naming a total of 136 candidates.
With 230 seats in the Assembly, the BJP is yet to make 94 more decisions, and the Central Election Committee will likely address many at the Sunday meeting.
Since the last list had incumbent MLAs, remaining BJP MLAs are in a fix after not finding their name in the list. Sources within the state unit suggest that 25 to 30 MLAs may face exclusion due to negative feedback.
The release of the list is expected during the Navratri season, starting Sunday, to minimise protests from leaders denied tickets, assuming they will be occupied with festival celebrations.
Uncertainty surrounds the political future of nine ministers, including Mahendra Singh Sisodiya, OPS Bhadoria, Brijendra Singh Yadav, and Suresh Dhakad, who are loyal to Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Speculation persists regarding Scindia's potential candidature, aligning with the BJP's strategy of fielding prominent candidates with strong local connections in each state. The BJP has already named four MPs and three Union Ministers for Madhya Pradesh.
Scindia, a Rajya Sabha MP, may be considered for his aunt Yashodhara Raje Scindia's seat, as she is rumoured for not contesting elections and her name too didn't appear with other cabinet ministers in the list, in Shivpuri or any of the two other seats in Guna—Bamori or Kolaras.
The Congress and BJP continue to exchange barbs over candidate lists and potential internal factionalism. Madhya Pradesh is set to vote on 17 November in a single-phase election, with results expected on 3 December.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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