Ahead of the upcoming assembly bypolls, Bharatiya Janata Party’s claims of having added over 76,000 fresh members into the party in Gwalior-Chambal region emerged as a fresh bone of contention between the BJP and the Opposition Congress, with the latter calling it a ‘fake list’.
Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist and a cabinet minister in CM Shivraj Singh's government, Govind Singh Rajput on Wednesday said, "In all, we have added around one lakh members to the party, including from other regions."
The three-day membership drive by the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party concluded a few days ago and the state president VD Sharma announced that the party had inducted 76,361 Congressmen as members. The membership campaign was undertaken at four Lok Sabha constituencies – Gwalior, Guna, Bhind and Morena.
Bypolls are scheduled to be held on 27 Assembly constituencies and of the total vacant seats, 16 include those from Gwalior-Chambal region, the stronghold of Scindia.
However, the Congress party dismissed BJP's assertions. Congress Gwalior-Chambal media-in-charge KK Mishra in a statement on Wednesday termed the membership campaign ‘Corona Failao Abhiyan (Corona Spreading Campaign)' and described it as a fake exercise.
Challenging the BJP to issue a list of the new members along with the details like names, pin code, address, Mishra said that ‘deceit with the public of the region’ is no less than a political crime.
Responding to the allegations, BJP MP in-charge Vinay Sastrabuddhe claimed that Congress need not be taken seriously and said that the opposition party barely had any idea about who was in its organisation. “Has anyone seen their (Congress’) membership campaign and major party organisation meetings,” asked the senior leader. He added that the Opposition needs to understand that locals were connected to Congress only because of Jyotiraditya Scindia and when he left, they, too were constrained to leave.
The BJP further hinted that local leaders from the region are upset with the party leadership. BJP media cell in-charge Lokendra Parashar alleged that three prominent leaders of the region – Dr Govind Singh, Laakhan Singh Yadav and Ramniwas Rawat – had skipped Congress’ press briefing in Gwalior.
Madhya Pradesh cabinet minister Govind Singh Rajput further said that former minister and senior Congress leader Dr Govind Singh was ignored by the party leadership for long. “Govind Singh ji is required to take a final call on his future,” the minister said.