MP: Exodus From Cong Strengthens BJP in Run Up to Polls

MP: Exodus From Cong Strengthens BJP in Run Up to Polls

Madhya Pradesh, known to be a Congress bastion since its formation in November 1956, appears to have turned into a BJP stronghold over the years with many Opposition members deserting it to join the ruling party.

The exodus of leaders from the Congress to the BJP began during the monsoon session of the State Assembly in July, when Deputy Leader of the party in the House, Choudhary Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi surprised everyone by speaking against the no-confidence motion tabled by it.

Not only this, within hours, Rakesh quit the Congress and moved over to the BJP, much to the discomfiture of the Opposition.

After Rakesh left Congress, there was lot of speculation that the BJP would nominate him to the Rajya Sabha but nothing of the sort happened. Instead, his brother Mukesh got elected to the MP assembly on a BJP ticket from Bhind district.

The next person to dump Congress and join BJP was Rao Uday Pratap Singh, who was a MP from Hoshangabad. He dealt a blow to his party by quitting just before the assembly elections in November last year.

Pratap is now once again contesting the Lok Sabha elections but this time he is riding on a BJP ticket. He had defeated Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister and five-time MP Sartaj Singh of BJP during the last Lok Sabha elections.

Retired IAS officer, Bhagirath Prasad who had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha polls from Bhind constituency on a Congress ticket shocked everyone by changing loyalties to the BJP.

The retired IAS officer did so a day after he was given the Congress ticket for contesting the Lok Sabha polls again from the Bhind constituency.

Bhagirath said he was leaving the Congress as those within the party including Union Minister Jyotirajaditya Scinida worked to ensure his defeat in the LS elections.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in State Assembly, Satyadev Katare said that Bhagirath had claimed before defecting to the BJP that he would never join the saffron party as his wife is a Muslim.

Two sitting Congress MLAs also bid adieu recently adding to the woes of the Opposition in Madhya Pradesh.

The first Congress MLA to join the BJP after the Assembly polls, was mining baron Sanjay Pathak who was elected from Vijayraghogarh constituency in Katni district.

Before joining BJP this week, Pathak resigned from Congress and his membership in the State Assembly alleging ill-treatment.

Pathak said he decided to quit as the grand old party no longer remained the organisation of Nehru and Gandhi.

On March 31, besides Pathak, another Congress Rajendra Singh Gehlot also formally joined the BJP.

Last night, in another embarrassment, Congress MLA Deepak Ahirwar who was elected from Jatara assembly constituency in Tikamgarh district switched over to the BJP.

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