The Congress in Madhya Pradesh seems to be finding it tough to find women candidates for coming Lok Sabha elections even as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be in a comfortable position on this. Both the parties had announced that they will name their nominees much before the polls and some discusssions have also been held on probable candidates but so far the names have not reached the respective central election committees.
During the 2004 General elections, the BJP had given tickets to Sumitra Mahajan from Indore and Neeta Pateria from Seoni and both of them had emerged victorious. Later, Yashodhara Raje Scindia who was a minister in the Madhya Pradesh government contested the by-election from the Gwalior constituency and won.
In the 2004 elections, the Congress had given tickets to four women candidates but none of them was able to win. These four were Rajesh Nandini Singh from Shahdol, Pushpa Bisen from Balaghat, Kalyani Pandey from Seoni and Savitri Bai from Mandla. It is being expected that Yashodhara Raje Scindia and Neeta Pateria will contest again from Gwalior and Seoni respectively but Sumitra Mahajan who had won six times in a row from Indore is facing lot of opposition at the party level.
There are also reports that senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj will also contest the Lok Sabha elections from Madhya Pradesh. Earlier, it was being said that Sushma will contest from Bhopal but following opposition from the sitting BJP MP from Bhopal Kailash Joshi, she may be fielded from Vidisha.
Supporters of the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan have floated the idea that his wife Sadhna Singh must contest from Vidisha but a final decision on this would be taken by the party's central election committee. If BJP sources are to be believed the party would not field more than four women candidates in the Lok Sabha elections from Madhya Pradesh. The Congress which saw all its women candidates losing in the last elections is finding it tough.
The leader of the Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Jamuna Devi was initially asked to contest from Dhar but she refused and said that instead her nephew Umang Sidhar should be made the candidate. Kalyani Pandey also wants to contest again from Seoni but her chances are bleak as she had lost in the last Lok Sabha elections.
Madhya Pradesh Mahila Congress president, Shobha Ojha's name also figures in the list of aspirants but since she lost the last Assembly elections, the chances of her getting the ticket are slim