As Congress leaders confidently claim that the battleground in MP is theirs for the taking, the Bharatiya Janta Party has released its second list for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly elections for 39 assembly seats.
Surprisingly, the BJP is fielding three union ministers in the assembly elections.
Narendra Singh Tomar, the Union Minister for Agriculture and a significant figure in the state, will be contesting from the Dimani constituency.
Meanwhile, Prahlad Singh Patel, a five-time Member of Parliament and currently the Minister of State for Jal Shakti, is entering his first-ever assembly election by vying for the Narsinghpur constituency.
On the other hand, Faggan Singh Kulaste, who serves as the Minister of State for Rural Development and Steel, is also on the list. He is set to contest the reserved ST seat of Niwas.
Kulaste has previously served as a legislator during a brief stint from 1990-92, representing the Mandla constituency.
Kailash Vijayvargiya, a prominent figure within the saffron party and the party in charge of the high-stakes battleground of West Bengal will also be entering the electoral fray from his home turf in Indore.
Vijayvargiya, known for his involvement in various controversies, has maintained a perfect record in assembly elections over his three-decade-long career.
The inclusion of central ministers Tomar and Patel has raised eyebrows. Madhya Pradesh has been under BJP’s rule since 2003, with a brief 15-month Congress tenure under Kamal Nath, making the rationale behind reinforcing the state cadre unclear.
The move has sparked speculation about whether it stems from the fear of potential defeat or a strategy to dilute the influence concentrated around the current Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
In response, the opposition has wasted no time launching a scathing critique of the BJP’s actions.
In a mocking tone, the AAP Madhya Pradesh spokesperson has suggested that the BJP’s decisions indicate their anxiety over potential losses, leading them to make such unexpected moves.