23 Oct 2023

MP Elections 2023: Internal strife within Congress in MP shows no sign of abating

Bhopal: The internal strife within the Madhya Pradesh unit of the Congress Party shows no sign of abating, as numerous hopefuls for party tickets are expressing their dissatisfaction with the party's selection process. On Monday, Congress workers staged a protest outside the residence of the former Chief Minister and the State Chief of the party, Kamal Nath, in Bhopal. They demanded a change in the party's announced candidates for the Narmadapuram, Seoni Malwa, and Rampur Baghelan assembly seats.

Party worker opposes nomination of Girja Shankar Sharma from Narmadapuram

These disgruntled workers also warned that failure to change the selected candidates could result in a big defeat for the Congress Party in the upcoming elections.

Omkar Chaudhary, a party worker, clarified their intent to the media, stating, "This should not be viewed as a protest. We are all dedicated Congress workers who subscribe to the Congress ideology. However, the ticket allocation process has led to the selection of inappropriate candidates.”

Chaudhary said Girja Shankar Sharma has been nominated for the Narmadapuram seat, which has stirred controversy due to perceptions of favoritism.

Chaudhary said Girja Shankar Sharma's brother, Sitasaran Sharma, is running for the same seat on the BJP ticket. He said the fact that both brothers are competing against each other has caused widespread anger among the people, who oppose the Sharma family. Girja Shankar recently joined the Congress after leaving the BJP, pointed out Chaudhary.

Chaudhary went on to express workers’ grievance, saying, "Senior Congress leaders had visited the constituencies, and at that time, it was promised that candidate selection would be based on the inputs provided by workers. If this survey-based approach were adhered to, we believe that Chandra Gopal Malaiya's name should be considered, given his lifelong dedication to the party. Therefore, we request a change in the candidate selection."

Party is receptive to concerns of workers: Hafeez

In response to the protest, Congress spokesperson Abbas Hafeez asserted that the party was receptive to the concerns of its workers and leaders. He explained, "Ticket allocation was based on a survey, conducted with full transparency, and candidates who received favorable responses from the public and party workers were chosen. If any worker or leader has objections to the selection process, the party is always willing to address their concerns," Hafeez added.

Madhya Pradesh is set to hold assembly elections on November 17, with vote counting scheduled for December 3.

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