Arguing that he won a bypoll despite demonetisation, BJP’s Shahdol MP Gyan Singh has threatened to contest as an Independent if the party does not change its decision to deny him a ticket.
The by-election for Shahdol Lok Sabha seat was held on November 19, 2016, 11 days after demonetisation. The veteran had defeated Congress candidate Himadri Singh by a margin of more than 60,000 votes. Click here for more election news
Himadri joined the BJP on March 20 and her name figured in the first list released by the party on March 23. Upset by the party’s decision to field a turncoat, Singh threatened an open rebellion, saying he will work to defeat her with the help of four former BJP MLAs and two sitting MLAs who “I won’t name”.
“I won despite demonetisation. How can I seek votes for a candidate I defeated two years ago,” the 65-year-old said, accusing the BJP of succumbing to “vyavsaikaran” (commercialisation). It is a case of “paisa pheko tamasha dekho’’ (pay to watch the fun), he said without elaborating.
Singh was SC/ST Welfare Minister in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government when the party made him contest the bypoll, overruling his reluctance. “I am a tribal and lack dhanbal (money power), baahubal (muscle power) and chhalbal (deception),” he said.
Over the last few days, Himadri, the daughter of former Union minister Dalbir Singh, has tried to placate the veteran but in vain. “I will refuse to meet her again if she turns up at my doorstep. I spoke against her… Why should I meet her now,’’ he said.
BJP spokesman Lokendra Parashar said, “If he (Singh) goes ahead with what he has threatened to, the party has ways to deal with it.’’