BJP Brahmin leader switches over to Cong ahead of MP polls
As part of its poll strategy, the grand old party continues to corner loyalists of union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh
A powerful leader BJP Brahmin leader has switched over to the Congress ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh.
As part of its poll strategy, the grand old party continues to corner the loyalists of Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh.
The latest move is aimed at Scindia loyalist Govind Singh Rajput — one of 22 Congress MLAs who had switched over to the BJP in March 2020.
Giving tough competition to Rajput in his constituency of Surkhi in Sagar district, the Congress on Thursday fielded one of the region's most influential Brahmin leaders, Neeraj Sharma.
Sharma, a wealthy contractor, private bus operator, and farmer, reportedly led a motorcade of over 1,000 vehicles from his hometown Rahatgarh to Bhopal (around 120 km away), before joining the Congress at the state party headquarters.
Just a few hours before Sharma joined the Congress, the Rahatgarh police in Sagar district lodged a case U/S 353 and 186 IPC (assaulting or using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging duty) against him and his supporters on Wednesday night on a complaint by the RTO, Sagar.
Interestingly, Sharma was in the Congress until 2009, but owing to the growing dominance of Rajput, he joined the BJP and won the Rahatgarh Janpad Panchayat chief polls in 2010 as well as Rahatgarh Nagar Palika polls later.
In the 2010 Rahatgarh Janpad Panchayat polls, Sharma defeated Govind Singh Rajput’s elder brother Gulab Singh Rajput.
Notably, Govind Singh Rajput, who had won Surkhi in 2003, 2008 and 2018 as a Congress candidate, retained the seat in November 2020 as a BJP candidate.
He is the only Scindia loyalist in the cabinet of the incumbent BJP government in MP, who holds the same portfolios (revenue and transport) which he held under the previous Kamal Nath government.
The Congress has also managed to dent one of the oldest BJP families of Satna district in the Vindhya region, by taking into its fold Devraj Bagri and Vandana Bagri — the son and daughter-in-law of five-time former BJP MLA, late Jugal Kishor Bagri.