Bhopal: The Assembly bypolls in Madhya Pradesh have some interesting contests in store and there are at least half a dozen seats where Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress have reposed faith on each other’s rebels, ignoring claims of dedicated cadres.
Political ideologies tend to dilute whenever polls are around as leaders craving for tickets seldom hesitate to jump ships and exactly this has been the case in Madhya Pradesh where leaders have no qualms about shunning decades of ideology in lieu of tickets.
In continuance with this scenario, ruling BJP and opposition Congress party have fielded each other’s rebels on half a dozen seats in the bypolls.
The BJP has named 25 former Congressmen who had joined BJP in March this year while the Congress has fielded six former leaders of BJP, two from BSP-Pragilal Jatav and adv Satyaprakash Sakhwar and one from Bahujan Sangharsh Dal – Phool Singh Baraiya who in the past was also with Bahujan Samaj Party.
For obvious reasons, the BJP and Congress camps have witnessed unease from own cadre after placing rebels as candidates. The dissent however has been more pronounced in the Congress camp than in disciplined BJP cadre.
In Dabra, the BJP has named WCD minister Imarti Devi who had left Congress party with Jyotiraditya Scindia in march this year. Three-time MLA, the motor mouth minister is pitted against Suresh Raje, her close relative (samdhi). Raje who had been a BJP leader of four decades was quick to switch over and join Congress party when Imarti Devi was fielded as the BJP candidate. He even made an objectionable remark on the minister but later had regretted the statement after the controversy grew.
The BJP has fielded cabinet minister Tulsiram Silawat, best known as right hand man of Jyotiraditya Scindia, from Sanwer. The Congress on contrary had nominated Premchand Guddu, a former MP who in the past had deserted the party to join BJP but returned ahead of lok sabha polls in year 2019. Guddu also faced sizable opposition from within the party over his nomination.
The Bamori seat is witnessing a contest between Shivraj minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia and Chouhan’s former cabinet colleague –Kanhaiya Lal Agrawal. Agrawal a senior politician in the past had left BJP over denial of ticket.
Situated in Morena district, the Sumawali seat is witnessing a contest between minister Aidal Singh Kansana, a former Congressman and Ajab Singh Kushwaha who had left the BJP over denial of ticket.
The Gwalior East seat has Satish Sikarwar, a former BJP corporator as Congress candidate while the BJP has fielded Congress rebel Munnalal Goyal, a close aide of Jyotiraditya Scinda.
Surkhi onstituency in Sagar district, the mainstream political have swapped candidates as the BJP has fielded former Congressman Govind Singh Rajput while the Congress has fielded former BJP MLA Parul Sahu who joined the grand old part sensing that she won’t be offered ticket.
Out of these, the candidates in the fray were the same in 2018 assembly polls at Sumawali, and Gwalior East but with opposite parties.
Commenting on the turncoats fielded by the BJP, senior leader Umashankar Gupta said that the party has placed the bet on those who have joined the BJP in selfless manner shunning ministerial berths and membership to assembly for the cause of the public.