EC as­sured that Mi­zo­ram CEO will go: MNCC

Both the BJP and the Congress are see­ing trou­ble in state units over their choices for sev­eral seats; Cong leader at­tempts sui­cide

The New Indian Express - - FRONT PAGE - PRASANTA MAZUMDAR

IN­TER­NAL dis­sent con­tin­ued to ran­kle the state units of the rul­ing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the op­po­si­tion Congress on Fri­day, the last date of fil­ing nom­i­na­tions for the No­vem­ber 28 assem­bly polls in Mad­hya Pradesh.

Things took an ex­treme turn for the Congress when, vet­eran party leader Prem Singh Kush­wah al­legedly at­tempted to com­mit sui­cide by con­sum­ing poi­son re­port­edly over be­ing de­nied a party ticket from any seat in the Gwalior dis­trict. Kush­wah, 65, was im­me­di­ately rushed to the Jai Ar­o­gya Hos­pi­tal in Gwalior, where his con­di­tion is said to be sta­ble. He was hop­ing for a ticket from Gwalior East and Gwalior South.

A sui­cide note, pur­port­edly writ­ten by Kush­wah, was widely cir­cu­lated over so­cial me­dia.

In it, the leader is said to have men­tioned that he was pained by ru­mours about him join­ing the rul­ing BJP. The note also men­tioned the Congress was giv­ing tick­ets to those who had joined it from other par­ties and that it was ne­glect­ing the in­ter­ests of com­mit­ted party work­ers.

The prin­ci­pal Op­po­si­tion party is also fac­ing re­bel­lion in sev­eral other parts of the state. Lo­cal work­ers have been protest­ing in maoist-af­fected Balaghat dis­trict against the party’s choice of San­jay Singh Masani — broth­erin-law of Chief Min­is­ter Shivraj Singh Chouhan — for the Waraseoni seat. Three-time for­mer MLA Pradeep Jaiswal on Thurs­day filed his nom­i­na­tion as an In­de­pen­dent from the seat. Sources close to him said there is a strong pos­si­bil­ity of him and sev­eral other Congress lead­ers quit­ting the party.

Protests also broke out among the party’s ranks over the lead­er­ship’s choice of Naresh Gyan­chan­dani as the can­di­date for the Huzur seat in Bhopal dis­trict. In­ci­den­tally, the rul­ing BJP, which holds the seat cur­rently, is also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing op­po­si­tion over its choice of can­di­date for the seat from in­cum­bent MLA Jitendra Daga. Daga then filed his nom­i­na­tion as an In­de­pen­dent.

In the ad­join­ing seat of Bera­sia also, the rul­ing BJP is see­ing dis­sent against the sit­ting MLA Vishnu Kha­tri. Mean­while, sit­ting BJP MLA from the Bhind seat, Naren­dra Kush­wah, joined the Sa­ma­jwadi Party on the same day and filed his nom­i­na­tion as an In­de­pen­dent against the saf­fron party’s choice for the seat, Chaud­hary Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi.

In an­other sig­nif­i­cant devel­op­ment, for­mer state fi­nance min­is­ter Raghavji filed his nom­i­na­tion as an In­de­pen­dent for the Shamsabad seat af­ter his daugh­ter, Jy­oti Shah, was de­nied a ticket by the BJP. The 84-year-old for­mer min­is­ter is fac­ing trial for al­leged sodomy, ow­ing to which he had quit the Chouhan gov­ern­ment in 2013 and was ar­rested later.

In Uj­jain dis­trict, sup­port­ers of Jitendra Pandya protested out­side the party of­fice. Pandya was abruptly de­nied a ticket on Fri­day af­ter be­ing named as the party’s can­di­date for the Bad­na­gar seat ear­lier. MI­ZO­RAM’S chief elec­toral of­fi­cer (CEO) SB Shashank will soon be re­moved the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion has as­sured, the ag­i­tat­ing Mi­zo­ram NGO Co­or­di­na­tion Com­mit­tee (MNCC) said on Fri­day.

A high-level team from the EC, led by Deputy Elec­tion Com­mis­sioner Sudeep Jain, met with the MNCC in Aizawl on Fri­day, MNCC leader Van­lal­ru­ata said.

Van­lal­ru­ata, who is the pres­i­dent of the in­flu­en­tial Young Mizo As­so­ci­a­tion, said that while the team ac­cepted the de­mand on Shashank’s ouster, it did not com­mit on the re­in­state­ment of the state’s prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary (home) Lal­nun­mawia Chuaungo, an­other of the de­mands of the protest­ing body.

The MNCC has been ask­ing for the re­moval of Shashank af­ter he re­port­edly trans­ferred Chuaungo, a Mizo of­fi­cer of the Gu­jarat cadre, for al­legedly med­dled with the state’s elec­toral rolls to ex­clude the names of Reang trib­als in the state.

“We raised the de­mand on the re­moval of Shashank as the CEO. The ECI team ac­cepted it and said the re­place­ment will be made in a cou­ple of days. Our sec­ond de­mand was that the Bru (Reang) refugees should not be al­lowed to cast their votes in the re­lief camps in Tripura but within Mi­zo­ram. It was also ac­cepted,” Van­lal­ru­ata said.

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