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|November 6, 1998||
BSP puts up 170 candidates in MP
Following reports of a strategic understanding with the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party is fielding candidates for just over half the 320 seats in the Madhya Pradesh assembly.
In the first list of 160 nominees released late last night, state BSP president and legislative party leader Dauram Ratnakar has been re-nominated to contest the Pamgarh seat for the third time.
Similarly, all the other 10 legislators of the party have been nominated again. But Jawahar Singh Rawat, MLA from Dabra, has been shifted to Karera.
State BSP treasurer Rajendra Kumar Dawna said in Bhopal that the second list of about 10 candidates would be released later today.
He said his party had decided not to field its nominees in the remaining constituencies, but to work for the Bharatiya Janata Party's defeat there.
Besides Ratnakar and Rawat, the other MLAs are Soneram Khushwaha (Jaora), Adal Singh Kansana (Sumawali), Chaturilal Barhadia (Gohad), Dr Naresh Kumar Gurjar (Mehgaon), Ganesh Vari (Chitrakoot), Ram Khilawan Patel (Amarpatan), Vidyawati Patel (Gurh), Jaikaran Saket (Devtalab) and Dr I M P Verma (Mauganj).
The BSP has not fielded candidates against state Congress president Urmila Singh (Ghansor), Chief Minister Digvijay Singh (Raghogarh), Deputy Chief Minister Subhash Yadav (Kasrawad), and some ministers. But it has fielded Palibai Nishad in Rajim where Congress veteran and former chief minister Shyama Charan Shukla is contesting.
Besides putting up candidates against 12 ministers, the BSP has also fielded Shivraj Patel in Churhat where Congress Working Committee member Arjun Singh's son Ajeya is contesting on a Congress ticket.
Similarly, Prabhat Verma has been pitted against Congress veteran and assembly Speaker Sriniwas Tiwari in Mangava in Rewa district.
Though the Congress has fielded candidates in 319 constituencies and left Khailanji for the Republican Party of India (Khobragade), its leaders have been maintaining that the party has reached a "strategic understanding" with the BSP to defeat the BJP.
But the BSP has put up candidates at all those places in the Gwalior, Chambal and Rewa divisions and some areas bordering Uttar Pradesh where it has made inroads over the last decade. All these constituencies will therefore witness triangular or multi-cornered contests.
Dawna said his party's decision to field nominees in a limited number of seats was aimed at concentrating on those areas where it has influence. "In other areas, our party workers will ensure the defeat of the BJP candidates by extending support to any candidate who can win the polls," he said.
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