Ever since nearly two dozen Congress MLAs switched to the BJP to bring down the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh in March, turncoats have had a field day in the state’s politics and the situation remains the same with assembly bypolls around the corner.
While the BJP is ‘forced’ to offer tickets to the MLAs who moved to it from the opposition party in the past few months, the cadre is not too impressed with the importance being given to the ‘outsiders’.
Senior leaders like Jaibhan Singh Pawiaya and former minister Deepak Joshi have been among the more vocal leaders who have spoken out publicly.
However, as the ruling BJP is inching closer towards announcement of tickets, unease is creeping in further in its camp. BJP leaders including KL Agrawal, Suresh Raje, Parul Sahu and Satish Sikarwar, have already deserted their own party and have secured tickets from the Congress on their respective seats.
The Congress whose 25 MLAs have resigned post March this year and two others died, has a different set of problems.
The party, desperate to crush Jyotiraditya Scindia on his home turf, is not holding back from deploying turncoats of the BJP and BSP as party candidates and is also using ‘outsider candidates’ to seal victory in bypolls.
However, for obvious reasons the party leaders are upset at several seats and open protests have been witnessed in many constituencies after the names of candidates were announced.
These include Nepanagar, Jaura, Bhander, Sanwer, Dabra, Gwalior East, Karera, Gohad, Dimni, etc.
The Congress has a fresh headache in Gwalior as a senior party leader, Ashok Sharma, who was a strong claimant for the ticket here, is rumoured to be switching to the BJP.
The party, rattled by the March exodus, is even carrying out oath-taking events in the Gwalior-Chambal region ahead of the bypolls to make local leaders pledge loyalty and unity.
Fake lists of candidates are also making their way to social media but both the BJP and Congress have denied any role in this, though each keeps blaming the other.
Voting for 28 assembly seats will take place on November 3 and counting of votes and announcement of results will take place on November 10.