BJP names Arvind Singh Bhadoria & Shivnarayan Singh for bypolls

BHOPAL: BJP on Wednesday cleared the names of Arvind Singh Bhadoria as party candidate for Ater (Bhind) and Shivnarayan Singh for Bandhavgarh (Umaria) assembly bypolls slated for April 9.

A meeting of the state election committee headed by BJP state chief Nandkumar Singh Chauhan and chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took the decision in this regard. Shivnarayan is the son of minister for SC/ST welfare Gyan Singh whose election to the Lok Sabha last year necessitated the bypolls. “The state election committee meeting was held in the presence of its eight members. We have forwarded the names of Bhadoria for Ater and Shivnarayan for Bandhavgarh (ST) seats to the Central election committee in New Delhi,” Nandkumar Singh told reporters at the party’s regional head office after the meeting.

TOI had reported a day before that the state BJP has decided the names of Bhadoria and Shivnarayan for the two constituencies. Nandkumar said the names have been approved by all the members of the election committee including former CM Kailash Joshi, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union minister of state Faggan Singh Kulaste and himself. Some of the members could not attend the meeting due to Parliament session in New Delhi. The committee had discussed these names with them before taking the decision, said Nandkumar. He, however, refused that the party had to give in to the demands of Gyan Singh who has not resigned as cabinet minister after being elected to Lok Sabha. He also denied that the party was promoting nepotism by naming his son Shivnarayan Singh.

“Gyan Singh accepted what party had said and the decision was taken on the demand of party workers in Bandhavgarh. He will resign from the post of minister in due time as he had been asked by chief minister to continue on the post for six months,” clarified Nandkumar Singh.

On Congress challenge to the BJP in the ensuing bypolls and coming elections, the state chief said the Congress has lost its ground in the country. He termed the Congress allegations regarding tampering of EVMs as baseless while stating that the opposition party is in depression. “When Congress was in power in 2014, BJP won elections and Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister through the same EVMs. Later, elections were held in Bihar, West Bengal, Delhi and Kerala, but Congress did not find any fault in EVMs. Now, after losing UP and Uttarakhand it was trying to pacify its party workers by blaming EVMs,” he said.

Nandkumar Singh said several leaders including some from their party too had raised doubts over EVMs, but nothing could be proved. He said the EVMs are fine and the election commission has made the process transparent.