As polls near, Congress, BJP face protests over ticket distribution in MP

Representational image: Manorama

Bhopal: Supporters of poll aspirants from the ruling BJP and opposition Congress in Madhya Pradesh who have failed to get tickets staged protests in different parts of the state even as both parties tried to downplay the resentment.

The BJP has so far declared candidates for 228 out of the total 230 seats, while the Congress has declared names of 229 candidates for the assembly elections scheduled for November 17.

On Sunday, supporters of former BJP MLA and ex-minister Umashankar Gupta raised slogans in front of state BJP president V D Sharma in Bhopal, demanding to replace party candidate Bhagwandas Sabnani, who is in the fray from Bhopal South West constituency.

Several office-bearers of the BJP from Bhopal South West wrote letters to the state unit chief demanding to field Gupta.

Former BJP MLA from Tikamgarh, K K Shrivastava, resigned from the primary membership of the party expressing displeasure over ticket distribution in a letter addressed to the state BJP president.

In Gwalior, supporters of BJP leader Munnalal Goyal, a loyalist of Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, protested outside the erstwhile royal's Jai Vilas Palace after Goyal was denied a ticket.

To mollify the protesters, Scindia drove to the palace gate and asserted that he stood by them and Goyal.

Asked about the protests, state BJP spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said sporadic demonstrations occurred due to momentary excitement. "BJP workers toil for nationalist ideology and welfare of the poor, unlike the Congress. Protests have been held in the Congress camp for the last five days," he said.

Supporters of sitting Congress MLA from Badnagar, Murli Morwal, staged an aggressive protest in front of the Bhopal residence of state party chief Kamal Nath after Morwal failed to get the ticket.

They set tyres on fire demanding that the Congress replace its nominee, Rajendra Singh Solanki, from Badnagar.

Congress workers from Govindpura in Bhopal and Kurwai in Vidisha also staged demonstrations at the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office in Bhopal.

MP Congress media department chairman KK Mishra said the distribution of tickets has been very successful and "positive signals are coming from all over the state".

"These protests are very minor. This is a family matter which will be solved," he added.

On Friday, soon after the BJP released its fifth list, supporters of many leaders who failed to get tickets kicked up a ruckus in front of Union Minister Bhupender Yadav at the party office in Jabalpur. Yadav is in charge of the Madhya Pradesh BJP election campaign committee.

A video which surfaced on social media showed a crowd jostling around Yadav, while a security personnel was trying to protect the minister.

BJP workers had heated exchanges with senior leaders, including Yadav and Rajya Sabha member Kavita Patidar.

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