Kamal Nath dares BJP to make Shivraj its CM face

Bhopal: Congress veteran Kamal Nath on Monday dared the BJP to declare chief minister (CM) Shivraj Singh Chouhan its CM face for the November 17 assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh.

Mr Nath also wondered why the BJP leadership was reluctant to declare Mr Chouhan as party’s chief ministerial candidate in the upcoming assembly polls in the state.

“Why is BJP not declaring Mr Chouhan its CM face? Why is BJP reluctant to declare him CM face? This is my simple question to BJP”, Mr Nath told reporters here.

Mr Nath said that he has pitted TV star Vikram Mastal who portrayed the character of Hanuman in Anand Sagar’s 2008 Ramayan serial against Mr Chouhan to make it a ‘actor vs actor’ battle in Budhni assembly constituency.

He described Mr Chouhan as an ‘election actor’ for ‘dramatising’ his speeches in the poll meetings and said that that’s the reason why he decided to field Mr Mastal against him in Budhni.

“It would be very interesting to watch a debate between them, if it takes place. I am sure our candidate will lose in the debate since Mr Chouhan is certainly a better actor than him”, he said sarcastically.

Replying to a question on the growing dissensions in the Congress triggered by the release of the first list of candidates by the party for MP, he said that candidates were usually selected on various considerations such as caste balance and this would make some ticket aspirants feel let down by the party.

Mr Nath said that he had already held discussions with around 1,000 Congress activists to sort out the matter.

The Congress released its first list of 144 candidates for the poll-bound Madhya Pradesh on Sunday, leading to protests by local party leaders in at least a dozen assembly constituencies.

At half-a-dozen Congress leaders have resigned from the party in protest against selection of candidates in their respective assembly constituencies.

Mr Nath said that around 4,000 aspirants had applied for Congress tickets for the 230 assembly seats in the state.

Replying to a question, Mr Nath said that he decided to join the fray in the polls to dispel any impression that he was fleeing from the electoral battle by not contesting in the elections.

“I have neither the obsession for fighting elections nor scared of it”, he remarked.

Mr Nath said that the party would declare candidates in the remaining 86 assembly seats in two-three days.

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