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Scindia loyalist's supporters protest outside Gwalior palace as BJP denies him ticket for MP polls

Gwalior: Supporters of BJP leader Munnalal Goyal, a loyalist of Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, on Sunday protested outside the Scindias’ Jai Vilas Palace in Gwalior after he was denied a ticket for next month’s assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh.

To mollify the protesters, Jyotiraditya Scindia drove to the palace gate and asserted that he stood by them and Goyal.

The BJP on Friday released a fifth list of 92 candidates for the November 17 elections in which Goyal, who has represented Gwalior east in the past, did not figure. The BJP has fielded Maya Singh from the constituency.

Goyal won from Gwalior east on a Congress ticket in the 2018 polls. He and many MLAs loyal to Scindia resigned and crossed over to the BJP in March 2020, bringing down the Kamal Nath-led Congress government and paving the way for the return of the saffron party to power.

However, Goyal lost the subsequent bypoll as a BJP candidate. He was later made the chair of state-owned MP Seeds Corporation.

This time around, he was hopeful of getting a ticket from Gwalior east.

Goyal said that instead of him, the ticket has been given to a candidate who has not been in the midst of the people for many years.

“I am going to talk to the party leadership about it,” Goyal said, adding that he has tirelessly worked for the people for the last five years.

Trying to cool the temper of Goyal’s supporters, Scindia said he understood the strength of party workers, adding that 15-20 years ago, the tickets of many heavyweight leaders were cut.

He recalled that he facilitated tickets for Goyal thrice out of which he was unsuccessful in two elections.

“I assure you that I stand with you and with Munna (Goyal) and will sort out all your problems,” he said. After his assurance, the protesters seemed placated.

Soon after the BJP released its fifth list on Friday, supporters of many leaders who failed to get tickets kicked up a ruckus in front of Union minister Bhupender Yadav at the party office in Jabalpur. Yadav is the in-charge of the Madhya Pradesh BJP election campaign committee.

A video that surfaced on social media showed a crowd jostling around Yadav, while a security personnel was trying to protect the minister.

Some people were also seen hitting the person in the security guard’s attire, who tried to pull out a revolver while trying to control the situation.

BJP workers had heated exchanges with senior leaders, including Yadav and Rajya Sabha member Kavita Patidar.

Later, the police said three persons were arrested on the charge of obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty based on the complaint lodged by Yadav’s security guard.

(Published 22 October 2023, 13:53 IST)

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