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Scindia on course to win prestige battle in MP bypolls as most of his loyalists take lead

Overall, BJP is ahead in 21 of 28 seats that went to polls, according to the latest trends. In the Scindia stronghold of Gwalior-Chambal region, the BJP is leading in 10 of the 16 seats.

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Bhopal: Nearly nine months after he walked out of the Congress with a clutch of legislators to bring down the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh, BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia seems to have delivered it for the BJP, a party he now represents in the Rajya Sabha.

Going by the leads in the Madhya Pradesh bypolls, most of Scindia’s loyalists, including those who contested the bypolls as ministers, are on course to get elected to the assembly. 

The former union minister had succeeded in getting tickets for all the 25 former Congress legislators, including three who had resigned after the Congress government was dislodged in late March.

According to the Election Commission figures until 2.45 pm, the BJP is leading in 21 of the 28 seats that went to polls.

Labeling him a ‘traitor’, the opposition party had targeted Scindia, accusing him of toppling the Congress government, formed after 15 years of BJP rule, for his personal ambitions. Scindia had lost the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Guna, considered a pocket borough of the Scindia family.

He joined the BJP in March along with his loyalists on a condition that all of them will be fielded in the by-elections, a demand that had put the BJP in an awkward position because it entailed cadres to work for the same candidates they had campaigned against in the 2018 assembly elections. 

Some senior BJP leaders, including candidates who lost in 2018, made their displeasure more than obvious but the party prevailed upon them.

The Congress defectors did not just got tickets, but as many as 14 of them even got berths in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. While Tulsiram Silawat and Govind Rajput, who were accommodated in the first cabinet expansion in April, had to resign days before polling on 3 November because they had completed six months in office, the remaining 12 contested as ministers.

It was for the first time in MP’s political history that so many ministers contested to validate their stay in office. Only two of those ministers — Adal Singh Kansana and Girraj Dandotiya — are trailing their Congress rivals in Sumaoli and Dimni constituencies in Morena district, which is a part of Gwalior-Chambal region where Scindia holds clout.


Also read: In a slip of tongue, BJP’s Jyotiraditya Scindia asks people to ‘vote for hand’ in MP bypolls


BJP leads in Gwalior-Chambal region

The BJP is leading in 10 of the 16 seats in the Gwalior-Chambal region while the Congress is ahead in only five seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party is leading in one seat, according to the latest trends. 

The Congress has done well in the region in 2018. Scindia’s supporters had then attributed the good show to him demanding that he should be made the chief minister, and not Kamal Nath.

In the by-elections, Scindia’s supporters are doing well even outside the Gwalior-Chambal region. His hardcore loyalists Silawat and Rajput, who contested from Sanver in Indore district and Surkhi in Sagar district, respectively, have established comfortable leads.

Results to cement Scindia’s position in BJP

The bypoll results are sure to improve Scindia’s standing in the BJP. There has been speculation for a long time that his possible induction in the Narendra Modi cabinet is linked to the outcome of the crucial by-elections.

The by-elections were as much a prestige battle for Chouhan and Kamal Nath as they were for Scindia, who often sought votes in his and his family’s name while campaigning in the Gwalior-Chambal region.

The Congress had invited former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot to campaign in MP hoping to provide a counter to Scindia as also to get Gurjar votes. Pilot did not name Scindia even once during his address in his rallies.


Also read: Kamal Nath runs Congress show in MP bypolls, Digvijaya away from spotlight — just like in 2018


 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. His speeches in Parliament are data dense. Would make a fine minister for statistics and programme implementation.

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