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Himadri Singh, Daughter of Former Congress Union Minister, Joins BJP in Madhya Pradesh

Himadri Singh, Daughter of Former Congress Union Minister, Joins BJP in Madhya Pradesh

Sources said the Congress had promised to consider her candidature only if she brought her BJP leader husband into the party fold. Himadri was also accused of campaigning for her husband during the assembly polls.

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Vivek Trivedi

Bhopal: Himadri Singh, daughter of former Union minister and late Congress MP Dalbir Singh, formally joined the BJP in Bhopal on Wednesday.

Himadri’s mother, Rajesh Nandini Singh (deceased), was also a Congress MP from Shahdol.

Dalbir Singh, a three-time MP and also a minister of state in the PV Narasimha Rao government in 1991, was considered the Congress mainstay in the tribal heartland of Shahdol in the 1980s and 90s.

“My parents were Congress MPs and I too had contested Lok Sabha bypolls on a Congress ticket in 2016. But, as I am married now and have a new family, all of whom are with the BJP, I decided to join the saffron party,”

Himadri told reporters at the BJP headquarters after accepting party membership from state BJP chief Rakesh Singh.

Himadri, who had lost to BJP’s Gyan Singh in the 2016 byelection, had tied the knot to BJP leader Narendra Singh Marawi in 2017.

The 31-year-old, however, had continued to work for the Congress. Marawi too had said after the wedding that his wife was free to pursue a political ideology of her choice.

Himadri, with a strong Congress legacy, had become a prominent tribal face in the Shahdol-Anuppur-Umaria region, which has developed into a saffron citadel over the last few decades.

The BJP’s victory margin of over 2.5 lakh votes in 2014 had reduced to a bare 57,000 votes in the 2016 bypolls.

However, things did not pan out the way the young leader would have wanted ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Sources said the Congress had promised to consider her candidature only if she brought her BJP leader husband into the party fold.

Himadri was also accused of campaigning for her husband during the assembly polls. Marawi had contested from Pushprajgarh in Anuppur but lost to Congress’ Phundelal Singh Marko.

Marawi has also served as the district head of the saffron party’s youth wing and was a zila panchayat chief.

The couple had left for New Delhi on Monday, but it was not clear whether she had gone to the national capital to meet leaders of her parent party or switch loyalties.

A Congress leader from Shahdol said former BJP MLA from Jaisinghnagar (an assembly seat Shahdol) Pramila Singh is ow likely to be fielded as the Congress candidate.

Pramila had left the BJP ahead of the assembly polls in 2018 after she was denied ticket and joined the Congress.

Meanwhile, the saffron party seemed to be in no mood to re-nominate Shahdol sitting MP Gyan Singh whose parliamentary membership is in a limbo after an independent candidate challenged his election claiming the returning officer had deliberately rejected the latter’s nomination.

Gyan Singh’s election was nullified by the court but he got a stay minutes after.

A tribal heartland, Shahdol has failed to nurture prominent leaders and politics here revolves around some handful names.

The seat was primarily a Congress stronghold, but after the demise of Dalbir Singh and his wife, the saffron wave has slowly crept in.

Even during the last assembly elections which saw a resurgent Congress grab the seat of power in the state, the BJP managed to win all the three seats in Shahdol.


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