Sixteen of the 24 seats where elections will be held are in the Gwalior-Chambal region, the citadel of Jyotiraditya Scindia. The Congress had swept 26 out of the 34 seats here in the 2018 assembly polls.
- News18.com Bhopal
- Last Updated: June 10, 2020, 12:07 PM IST
Jyotiraditya Scindia surprised political pundits and novices alike when he switched to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in March along with his supporters, bringing down the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh. The move massively altered political equations in both parties.
These changed equations are giving a tough time to the BJP and Congress as they prepare for bypolls to 24 assembly seats, 16 of which are in the Gwalior-Chambal region, the citadel of Jyotiraditya Scindia. The Congress had swept 26 out of the 34 seats here in the 2018 assembly polls.
With the defection of leaders, several established politicians are finding it difficult to cope with the altered scenario in their own parties.
The latest is former deputy leader of opposition in the assembly Chaudhary Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi, who had deserted the Congress to join the BJP in 2013. He returned to the Congress last year and is a ticket aspirant
Interestingly it was Jyotiraditya Scindia who had facilitated his return. Though Chaturvedi could not secure a ticket in 2018, he is again in the hunt from the Mehgaon seat in Bhind. But his old rival Ajay Singh, the former leader of opposition, contested his ticket in front of state Congress committee chief Kamal Nath recently. He was backed by another Bhind senior MLA, Dr Govind Singh.
Chaturvedi’s problems multiplied as senior leader Digvijaya Singh openly opposed his ticket on Sunday. Stung by this, Chaturvedi on Monday hit back, asking in which capacity Digvijaya Singh was opposing him.
Besides, in an interesting development, Guna MP Krishna Pal Singh Yadav, who defeated Scindia in 2019, has expressed his anger at the former Congress leader being accommodated in the BJP. As former Congress minister Sachin Yadav visited Ashoknagar on Monday, KP Yadav’s brothers, Mahendra and Ajay, not only met the ex-minister, but also attended a Congress meeting.
Scindia’s close aide Tulsi Silawat who resigned as MLA from the Sanwer seat is also facing opposition. Former Ujjain MLA Premchand Guddu, who had left the Congress to join the BJP in 2018, recently made a comeback and is said to be sure of a ticket from Sanwer. Besides, Rajesh Sonkar, ex-MLA of BJP from Sanwer, is also not too pleased with Silawat’s entry into the BJP.
Moreover, ex-minister of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet, Deepak Joshi, is also vying for a ticket against Manoj Chaudhary who defeated him on a Congress ticket and recently resigned to join the BJP.
The Congress has expelled several partymen to flush out Scindia loyalists from the organisation. It sacked ten party leaders in Anuppur on Tuesday. Ex-MLA from the region Bisahulal Singh left the Congress in March.
Suggesting that all isn’t well in the Gwalior-Chambal region, state home minister Narottam Mishra, who is considered to be the man who staged the coup by the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, had visited Gwalior on Sunday and met five senior party leaders. Though he denied any resentment, his visit was widely seen as an effort to contain internal damage.
Political analysts believe that the internal discord will pick up in both the parties once the ticket distribution process inches closer.
Besides, allocation of ministerial berths is also giving anxious moments to several BJP leaders. The aspirations are high for these berths which is why cabinet expansion has been deferred repeatedly. Most of the 22 MLAs who joined the BJP recently are hopeful of a place in the cabinet.
Governor Lalji Tandon left for Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday, indicating that the cabinet expansion process has been deferred further.