In an embarrassing goof-up, the Madhya Pradesh Youth Congress (YC) had elected a leader now in the BJP as its general secretary of Jabalpur (uttar) unit in the elections that concluded on Friday. His appointment was subsequently cancelled.
The incident came to light when Harshit Singhai, a Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist who had deflected from the Congress to join the BJP earlier this year, began receiving congratulatory messages on Saturday.
When contacted, MP Youth Congress spokesperson Masood Mirza accused Singhai of resorting to these tactics for cheap publicity, and denied receiving any information from the former Congress worker on withdrawal of his nomination. He also said, “Soon after the goof-up was brought to my notice, his (Singhai’s) appointment was cancelled with immediate effect.”
According to Singhai, the congratulatory messages left him confused. He said that in the nine months after leaving the Congress, he has not campaigned for the YC polls, but was declared elected as general secretary. “I spoke to the district in-charge of both the BJP and the Congress and informed them about the mistake,” said Singhai, who was president of the Jabalpur unit of NSUI, the Congress’s students’ wing, before his political switchover in March.
Singhai had submitted his nomination in 2018 but the elections were then stalled, as the Vidhan Sabha elections were round the corner. Soon after the Congress came to power, the party was occupied with the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, and then the party lost its government in March 2020, when 22 Scindia loyalists switched sides, along with hundreds of other workers, including Singhai.
“I had submitted by resignation after the switchover and then when the nomination (for YC polls) was called in November, I also sent an email to the party and informed them that I am withdrawing my nomination,” Singhai said. However, he said, the party administrators failed to take notice of his resignation, as well as his email informing them of his withdrawal of nomination.
Mirza said, “We had issued notices asking workers to come forward and inform us if they had switched parties, or would want to withdraw their nominations themselves or any worker who had some information could inform the election committee. But neither happened in Singhai’s case.”
Mirza maintained that even if the election committee received verbal information of a worker switching over, it had to be backed by photo evidence of some sort before his nomination was cancelled – which, he said, did not happen in Singhai’s case.
Mirza also denied receiving any email of cancellation of his nomination. “The elections did not take place physically; people were chosen online according to the number of votes, due to which Singhai was declared a general secretary,” he said.
Singhai alleged that many who voted in the Youth Congress elections were workers now affiliated with the saffron party.
Vikrant Bhuriya, Jhabua constituency candidate and son of former Union minister and Congress MLA Kantilal Bhuriya, was elected president of the Youth Congress after securing 40,850 votes.
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