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Jolted by Scindia's Exit, Cong Makes MPs Take Oath of Loyalty in Gwalior-Chambal Region Ahead of Bypolls

The video showed that party workers and leaders from Sumawali constituency were inside Ram Janki temple and were taking oath of loyalty and unity irrespective of the fact who gets the party ticket for the by-poll. (Image: News18)

The video showed that party workers and leaders from Sumawali constituency were inside Ram Janki temple and were taking oath of loyalty and unity irrespective of the fact who gets the party ticket for the by-poll. (Image: News18)

Sources say that assembly in-charges are holding such events across 16 poll-bound seats in the Gwalior-Chambal region where the grand old party was left feeble since Scindia and his men left.

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Vivek Trivedi

As 16 assembly bypoll bound seats in the Gwalior-Chambal region primarily hold the key to power in Madhya Pradesh, besides common election issues, sentiments like betrayal, loyalty and commitment are playing pivotal roles here. Since Jyotiraditya Scindia and his men left in March this year, the Congress party has had its task cut out of rebuilding the organisation and also keeping its flock together.

As part of these efforts, the party constituency in-charges are making local leaders and workers take oaths of loyalty and unity in temples. One such video of a party event presided over by former minister Brijendra Singh Rathore had leaked on social media recently. The video showed that party workers and leaders from Sumawali constituency were inside the Ram Janki temple and were taking the oath in the name of God of loyalty and unity irrespective of who gets the party ticket for the bypoll.

Sources say that assembly in-charges are holding such events across 16 poll-bound seats in the Gwalior-Chambal region where the grand old party was left feeble since Scindia and his men left. The party is desperately trying to keep the remaining cadre base intact, especially ahead of the crucial bypolls. There is another reason for the party to worry as internal rebellion could dent its chances of winning. A hint of dissent became visible after the party announced 15 candidates and several of those ignored openly opposed this.

Those include former minister Mahendra Baudh from Bhander, Shakuntala Khatik from Karera, Satyaprakash from Dabra, Ramnarayan Hindoliya from Gohad and others. Hindoliya had even joined the Samajwadi Party but later returned to the Congress. Senior Congress leader PC Sharma said on the oath-taking issue that there must have been a meeting and sankalp (pledge) of loyalty, and just incidentally the meet happened in a temple.

OP Saklecha, senior MLA of BJP and a minister, claimed that the Congress party has seen mass exodus in the region and is fearing more people running away. "These are old leaders and workers who were with the party for years, so why do they need an oath to keep their loyalty intact," he said.

The oath-taking and pledges are continuing in Congress since the March episode when the Kamal Nath government was dislodged following a rebellion even as the party kept claiming that it’s ‘missing’ MLAs and allies had pledged support to the government.

In July, when the political crisis deepened in Rajasthan, the loyalty of several MLAs plunged into uncertainty in Madhya Pradesh and later two of them—Rahul Singh Lodhi (Damoh) and Tarwar Singh Lodhi (Banda)— met MPCC chief Kamal Nath and reposed faith in the party.

However, after this, two MLAs, Pradyumn Singh Lodhi and Sumitra Kasdekar, had resigned from the party.

On July 21, when the CLP meeting was held in Bhopal, an anxious party organisation had made all the MLAs pledge support to the party. However, two days later, Mandhata MLA Narayan Singh Patel too had resigned from the party. A couple of days ago, the party faced another setback as Biaora MLA Govardhan Dangi died of Covid-19.


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