Digvijaya vs Shivraj Singh Chouhan? High-octane battle likely in Bhopal
Bhopal, Mar 26: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to field former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Bhopal after the Congress decided to field Digvijaya Singh from the seat for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2019.
The deliberation over fielding its topmost leader from the state is being seen as a strategy to counter the Congress move.
The decision to field Digvijaya Singh from this tough seat has also exposed the factional war within the Congress, particularly the one between Singh and newly appointed CM Kamal Nath.
Bhopal has been strong bastion of the BJP, but in the recently held assembly elections, out of eight assembly segments, the Congress has wrested three. The BJP has won every national election from Bhopal since 1989.
The last Congress leader to have won the Bhopal seat was KN Pradhan in 1984.
Bhopal constituency is spread over eight assembly segments, namely Berasia, Bhopal Uttar, Narela, Bhopal Dakshin-Paschhim, Bhopal Madhya, Govindpura, Huzur and Sehore.
However, Chouhan has already expressed his willingness not to contest the election.
If the BJP decides to name Shivraj as its candidate from Bhopal, the contest is bound to be interesting as Digvijaya had also served as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh for 10 years between 1993 and 2003.
The BJP has so far released the list of 15 candidates for Madhya Pradesh. It has dropped its five incumbent MPs and shifted union minister Narendra Singh Tomar from Gwalior to Morena seat.
Madhya Pradesh will go to polls in four phases on April 29, May 6, May and May 19. Results will be out on May 23.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had won 27 of the total 29 seats except for Guna and Chhindwara constituencies, which were retained by Congress stalwarts Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath, respectively.