Madhya Pradesh polls: Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia's loyalists denied tickets

Is the Gwalior dynast's sway beginning to slip away within the BJP, as 'winnability criteria' affect the electoral landscape in the region?

Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia (left) (photo: @JM_Scindia/X)
Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia (left) (photo: @JM_Scindia/X)

NH Political Bureau

In what looks like a jolt to union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia — whose rebellion against the Congress in 2018 led to the fall of the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh — the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has denied tickets to his key lieutenants: O.P.S. Bhadoria, Munnalal Goyal and Raksha Santram Saroniya.

Notably, all three Scindia loyalists had won the by-polls in 2020.

After failing to secure tickets for his loyalists, Scindia has attempted to quell the discontent among his supporters, saying that the sole criterion was 'winnability' — but his followers appeared to be unconvinced.

Though the Mehgaon MLA, O.P.S. Bhadoria, has chosen to remain silent in the face of the denial, Munnalal Goyal’s supporters lay down in front of Scindia’s car, in a rebellion to bid to revive their leader's frustrated hopes.

They also protested against the BJP’s decision to field Maya Singh as the candidate from Gwalior East. Goyal had won that seat in the 2018 assembly polls and again in the 2020 by-polls.

Scindia stated that the party high command's decisions may not always align with personal wishes and desires. But his supporters did not budge and proceeded to burn an effigy of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan to vent their ire against what they saw as the 'unduly favoured' faction.

Sometimes decisions are not taken according to our wish. It happened 15–20 years ago also. Sometimes strong leaders did not get tickets. I ensured a ticket for Munna(lal) thrice. Sometimes it is possible, sometimes it is not. But want to assure you that I stand with you. I stand with Munna.
Jyotiraditya Scindia

In yet another development along the same lines, Jai Singh Kushwaha resigned from the state working committee and from his post as the BJP’s Morena district in charge. He criticised the BJP for neglecting the youth and expressed his discontent over the selection of candidates.

As per the reports, of the 22 Congress leaders who had joined the BJP in prior years, four others have also been denied tickets. Raghuraj Singh Kansana from Morena, Girraj Dandotiya from Dimani, Ranveer Jatav from Gohad and Jaswant Jatav from Karera, who had all switched allegiances, find themselves without nominations.

In Bhind, the situation took a heated turn as MLA Sanjeev Singh Kushwaha, who had joined the BJP last year, erupted in anger when he was also denied a ticket for the upcoming elections.The denial of tickets to key loyalists of Scindia, per Madhya Pradesh watchers, marks the dwindling of the Gwalior dynast's clout in the BJP.

Two days ago in Jabalpur, a group of BJP workers barged into the party office and staged a protest over the denial of a ticket for their preferred candidate as well. Their protest was directed against union minister Bhupendra Yadav, who is in-charge for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections. They also shouted slogans against the state BJP president V.D. Sharma.

With the election date approaching, all eyes are on how these grievances will affect the electoral landscape in the region.

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