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MP bypolls prestige battle for Congress, BJP

SATYAPRAKASH SHARMA | GWALIOR | Updated :

After two successive byelection victories in Madhya Pradesh’s Ater and Chitrakoot, the Congress is riding high but the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to prevent a repeat in the upcoming bypolls to Mungaoli and Kolaras Assembly seats in Jyotiraditya Scindia’s Lok abha constituency.

The Congress is expected to declare Scindia as the chief ministerial candidate for next year’s Assembly elctions in Madhya Pradesh. Winning the Mungaoli and Kolaras seats has now become a prestige battle for both the Congress and BJP.

BJP state general secretary VD Sharma told The Statesman, “BJP has started its campaign at booth level and party workers are telling the people about state and central government’s welfare schemes. The state BJP has entrusted the task to look after Mungaoli assembly seat to the state vice-president, Arvind Bhadouria. along with home minister, Bhupendra Singh. Likewise, Rameshwar Sharma, BJP’s state vice-president and MLA along with ministers Uma Shankar Gupta and Narottam Mishra have been entrusted to look after the preparations at the ground level in the Kolaras assembly seat.”

BJP’s national vice-president PrabhatJha and state government’s higher education minister, Jaibhan Singh Pabaiya, who are known to be rivals of the erstwhile Scindia royal family, have been entrusted with the task of attacking Jyotiraditya politically during the bypoll campaign.

“The feudal era has ended. People now believe in democracy and development. Our Central and state governments are working for public welfare through several schemes. We will win both seats in the name of development which has been done in the areas,” said Pabaiya, who is in charge of Guna and Ashoknagar districts.

If Scindia is declared as the Congress chief ministerial candidate,  then the BJP is likely to find the going very tough in the assembly elections. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan hopes a defeat in the bypolls will prevent the announcement.

“Both seats are influenced by Scindia and people want change in the state as seen in the last two bypolls. The Congress party is working on the ground level and we will surely win both the seats,” said Jaiwardhan Singh, young MLA from Radhogarh constituency (Guna) and Congress veteran Digvijay Singh’s son.

Mungaoli and Kolaras seats fell vacant after the deaths of Congress MLAs, Mahendra Singh Kalukheda and Ram Singh Yadav, both supporters of Jyotiraditya.

“The Congress is going to retain both seats because the people are suffereing under the BJP government. Despite intense preparations, BJP will have to face defeat in these bypolls”, Arun Yadav, state Congress president, said.