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Allies, Independents Present, Own MLAs Missing: BJP Dinner Gives Sneak Peek into Rajya Sabha Poll Trends

File photos of MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and former CM Kamal Nath.

File photos of MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and former CM Kamal Nath.

Congress party was alluring allies and independents to take a shot on the third seat but what transpired on Wednesday threw cold water on opposition party’s plans.

Vivek Trivedi
  • News18
  • Last Updated: June 18, 2020, 1:37 PM IST
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Bhopal: Congress party’s Rajya Sabha plans seem to have landed in a soup after several allies attended BJP dinner in Bhopal on Wednesday while several of its own MLAs skipped a party meeting held in the state capital.

As Rajya Sabha polling is due on Friday, both the BJP and Congress party are hopeful of winning a seat each through Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijaya Singh respectively while the BJP is comfortable with winning prospects on the third one.

Congress party was alluring allies and independents to take a shot on the third seat but what transpired on Wednesday threw water on opposition party’s plans.

As Congress party had huddled together ahead of RS polls on Wednesday, allies, two independents (both former Congressmen) and some of the party MLAs remained absent. Those missing included Digvijaya Singh’s brother Laxman Singh, KP Singh, former Deputy Speaker Hina Kanwre, Kunal Chaudhary (Covid-19 positive), Ravi Joshi, Veer Singh Bhuria and Wal Singh Meda.

Joshi could not make it to the meet due to illness of his mother, his office said.

Laxman Singh’s absence made headlines as his brother is a candidate in RS polls and Singh junior was in the limelight for his rebellious tunes during the Congress government tenure. Wednesday’s absentee KP Singh also appeared in the meeting on Thursday.

An unpredictable politician, Singh appeared at Kamal Nath’s bungalow ahead of MLAs’ meeting on Thursday but returned before the meet got underway. The Congress MLAs are meeting in Bhopal again to rehearse mock poll and devise poll strategy.

The air will be cleared by evening as the BJP is throwing a dinner for MLAs in the presence of RS observers – Prakash Javadekar and BJ Panda.

BSP MLAs –Rambai Singh and Sanjiv Singh Kushwah, SP MLA Rajesh Shukla, two independents –Thakur Surendra Singh and Vikram Rana presented themselves in the dinner meet.

The most vocal among them all, BSP’s Rambai Singh said her loyalty was with the ex-Chief Minister Kamal Nath but his own men ditched him.

Speculations also made rounds that some Congress MLAs are upset with the fact that the party did not put Dalit leader and RS candidate Phool Singh Baraiya on the first preference in polling.

To add, Baraiya is also crucial to Congress party scheme of things in upcoming assembly bypolls, especially in Gwalior-Chambal region where the BJP had paid heavily due to SC resentment during 2018 assembly polls.

To add, assembly secretariat had allowed Covid-19 infected Congress MLA Kunal Chaudhary to cast his vote through postal ballot.

In another development on Wednesday, the Madhya Pradesh high court had rejected a PIL seeking deferment of Rajya Sabha polls owing to 24 vacancies in the assembly.

BJP has 107 MLAs and Congress is reduced to 91 MLAs after the mass exodus in March this year. In present scenario, the BJP has sufficient numbers to make both its candidates win in Rajya Sabha polls without any outside help.

The BJP legislature party meeting is also due in Bhopal in the evening.

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