Madhya Pradesh: Powerful BJP, BSP leaders rush to join Congress as Lok Sabha elections near

“Many more BJP politicians and MLAs are in touch with us. This is just a trailer,the film is yet to release,” said Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath

Kashif Kakvi

With the formation of Congress government in Madhya Pradesh after 15 years, Congress is getting more powerful with each passing day and is likely to perform better in upcoming general elections.

While Congress is running a minority government in the state with the support of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and independent MLAs, the pace at which leaders from BJP and BSP are joining Congress could well make the grand old party a majority in the assembly before the Lok Sabha elections.

In last 45 days, number of prominent leaders, including former MP and MLAs, have joined Congress.

In a major blow to BJP, five-time BJP MP and former agriculture minister of the state, Ramkrishna Kusmaria, joined Congress in presence of Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi during Aabhar Samellan at Jambooree Maidan on Friday in Bhopal. Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia welcomed Kusmaria into the Congress fold with a shawl.

Explaining the reasons of quitting BJP, he said, “You know that in the BJP, veterans and elderly are being humiliated. Today’s BJP is the party that claims it is traditional but ill-treats its veterans and there are many examples. LK Advani is one of them. So, I decided to work where I am respected and there is an opportunity to work,” an emotional Kusmariya, fondly called Babaji by BJP workers, said.

On January 18, four-term former BJP MLA from Sehore seat of ex-CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan's home district, Ramesh Saxena, along with Usha Saxena (chairperson of Sehore district cooperative bank), Premlata Rathod (BJP Mahila Morcha Sehore unit head) and Sehore district panchayat president Urmilla Maretha joined Congress.

More so, on February 3, former Raigon MLA and Bahujan Samaj Party leader Usha Choudhary and a retired IFS officer Azad Singh Dabas joined the grand old party.

Speaking on the occasion, CM Kamal Nath said: many more BJP politicians and MLAs are in touch with us. This is just a trailer, film is yet to release

Speaking about the Congress party, the veteran former BJP MP, Kusmariya, said, “Seeing Congress Vachan Patra (manifesto), I feel that acchhe din will now come. I will work with full dedication under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi and Kamal Nath.

In 2018 Assembly election, along with other BJP veterans like Babulal Gaur and Sartaj Singh, he was denied ticket by the BJP. So, he filed nomination papers from both Damoh and Pathariya seats to contest as an independent.

Subsequently, BJP’s national vice president Prabhat Jha rushed to persuade him to withdraw his nomination. However, he refused, and the party he had served for more than four decades expelled him.

'Kamal Nath is a hard-working CM'

After joining the Congress with other powerful women BJP leaders, Ramesh Saxena recounted his long association with CM Kamal Nath.

"I was always physically with the BJP, but my heart was all for the Congress. I've joined the Congress along with other leaders, inspired by the CM Kamal Nath, who believes in plain-speak and in action, rather than just making hollow announcements," said Saxena.

Speaking on the occasion, CM Kamal Nath said: “Many more BJP politicians and MLAs are in touch with us. This is just a trailer, film is yet to release.

Later in the event, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, "Congress welcomes all who want to work with loyalty.”

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