Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani on Saturday joined the Congress and said that it is time for “a change”.
During a press conference at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi, Masani said, “MP ko Shivraj ki nahi Nath ki jarurat hai (MP does not need not Shivraj, it needs Nath),” he said, referring to former Union Minister and state Congress chief Kamal Nath.
Former Union minister and Congress campaign committee chief Jyotiraditya Scindia, another contender for the CM post, was also present when Masani joined the Congress.
Masani, Chouhan’s wife Sadhna Singh’s brother, was reportedly interested in contesting from Waraseoni in Balaghat district, but the ticket was given to sitting MLA Yogendra Nirmal.
Accusing the BJP of promoting dynastic politics, Masani claimed tickets were given to people whose parents have been in politics for decades.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “naamdar versus kaamdar” comment during a no-confidence motion in Parliament, he said those who worked hard for the BJP were not considered, but naamdars (one with a big name) were making their way.
Masani also claimed that there are no jobs and industries in the state and although several investment summits have been held, they have resulted in nothing concrete. Masani, who often introduces himself as a film producer, actor and journalist, has done some small roles in Bollywood films, including Akshay Kumar’s Padman. He claims to have acted in the films, most of them shot in Madhya Pradesh, for free.
In the past, Masani has been targeted by the Congress in the state Assembly for allegedly getting government contracts for his construction firm.
Although Masani does not have any political stature, the Congress hopes to exploit his relationship with the CM to embarrass the BJP.
Targeting Chouhan, who often calls himself mama (maternal uncle) to children of the state, Nath on Saturday tweeted, “The maternal uncle (mama) of his own children is not happy with mama.” Responding to a question, Masani said he was not Chouhan’s family member, but a relative. He said his family lineage and gotra were different from the CM’s. BJP state chief Rakesh Singh said, “In a democracy, every person is free to follow his political course. It has nothing to do with relationships.”