BJP openly justifying corruption in MP, claims latest defector

As many as 30 BJP ‘leaders’ in Madhya Pradesh are said to have resigned from the party during the last three months, the latest being sitting MLA Virendra Raghuvanshi

Representative image of BJP supporters in a rally (photo: Getty Images)
Representative image of BJP supporters in a rally (photo: Getty Images)

Kashif Kakvi

The Madhya Pradesh BJP has been rattled by the recent desertions by party faithfuls, including former ministers, MLAs and other old timers. Several of them have either joined or are said to be waiting to join the Congress.

The latest to desert the BJP this week is sitting BJP MLA Virendra Raghuvanshi, who has complained that it was "becoming difficult" to continue in the BJP as party leaders were openly justifying corruption in government offices. The minister in charge of the Shivpuri district told him that bribery was like an offering to a temple, that it was akin to ‘prasad’, Raghuvanshi claimed.

Rampant corruption was being tolerated or being encouraged by ministers, he added, and accused the chief minister of paying no heed to his warnings and grievances. He had raised the issue at a meeting at the chief minister’s residence in Bhopal, he said, but the CM was in "no mood to address the issue". In the last three-and-a-half years, despite his requests, he had not been given even five minutes with the minister in charge of the Shivpuri district to raise these issues.

In a two-page letter addressed to BJP state president Vishnu Dutt Sharma, Raghuvanshi said he felt he was being deliberately ignored. “It is with a heavy heart that I am resigning from the primary membership of the party and as special invitee to the state executive,” he wrote after pointing to postings of corrupt officials in his constituency.

Raghuvanshi claims he had been singled out because he had helped BJP candidate KP Yadav defeat Jyotiraditya Scindia in the 2019 general election in Guna by 1.20 lakh votes. This was the first time Scindia had lost on home turf, and he nursed a grudge against him, Raghuvanshi believes.

Raghuvanshi was earlier a Scindia loyalist while in the Congress. In 2006, he was fielded from Shivpuri in a by-election, which he won. In 2013, after he lost the Shivpuri assembly seat to BJP leader and Scindia's aunt, Yashodhara Raje, he felt sidelined and switched to the BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Scindia had once tried to implicate him in a false case too, he added.

Ally-turned-foe Raghuvanshi now targets union minister Scindia. "When the state Congress government collapsed in 2020, he (Scindia) had reasoned that farmers' loans of Rs 2 lakh were not being waived as promised. But after the formation of the BJP government, Scindia did not even mention loan waivers," he said.

Accusing the government of turning a blind eye to a "massive cooperative scam", Raghuvanshi alleged that farmers’ deposits in district cooperative banks had been fraudulently withdrawn by scamsters working in collusion with cooperative bank officials. While he had raised the issue in the assembly, not even an inquiry has been initiated, he added.

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