October 3, 2021 4:27:20 pm
In a setback to the opposition Congress ahead of the bypolls in Madhya Pradesh scheduled later this month, its former MLA from poll-bound Jobat, Sulochana Rawat, has joined the ruling BJP.
Rawat and her son Vishal Rawat joined the BJP late on Saturday night in the presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan as they were influenced by the party’s ideology and its works for the tribal population, state BJP chief V D Sharma said.
The Election Commission has announced bypolls to three Assembly segments and a Lok Sabha seat in the state along with several other seats of the country. The polling is scheduled on October 30.
Sulochana Rawat, who had won the elections on a Congress ticket from Jobat (ST) Assembly seat twice — in 1998 and 2008 — was considered that party’s potential candidate from this seat.
However, State Congress spokesman Syed Zaffar alleged that Rawat has a history of “backstabbing” the party. “Our survey found that she was not liked by the voters as the party’s candidate. Surprisingly, the BJP, which claimed to be a cadre-based party, did not find its own leader who can be fielded from there,” he said.
It is being speculated that the BJP may field Rawat from Jobat, where the bypoll was necessitated due to the death of Congress MLA Kalawati Bhuria.
The other two Assembly seats that will see bypolls are Prithvipur in Niwari and Raigaon in Satna district.
On Saturday, the Congress nominated Nitendra Singh Rathore from Prithvipur, which fell vacant due to the death of his (Nitendra Singh Rathore’s) legislator father Brijendra Singh Rathore. In Raigaon, the death of BJP MLA Jugal Kishore Bagri necessitated the by-election.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders hinted that former union minister Arun Yadav is most likely to be fielded from the Khandwa Lok Sabha seat, which fell vacant following the death of BJP’s Member of Parliament (MP) Nandkumar Singh Chouhan.
Senior Congress MLA and former minister Sajjan Singh Verma termed Yadav as the best candidate for the Khandwa LS seat and said, “Our high command too feels so.”
On the other hand, BJP leaders are saying that Harshvardhan Chauhan, whose father’s death necessitated this election, was likely to be the BJP candidate from Khandwa LS seat.
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