MP polls: Both BJP, Congress facing tough challenges in Vindhya region

Bhopal: Several disgruntled BJP leaders from Madhya Pradesh’s Vindhya region, who were denied tickets for the upcoming Assembly elections, are trying their luck in the Congress.

With the grand-old party all set to start the process of finalising its candidates, the dissidents are making last-ditch efforts to gain entry into the partyfold. The first list of the Congress is scheduled to be released on Sunday.

Sources told IANS that senior BJP MLA from Sidhi – Kedarnath Shukla, who could not make it to the list of candidates following his alleged involvement in the controversial pee-gate incident, has met the state Congress president Kamal Nath.

The BJP is fielding two-time sitting MP Riti Pathak from Sidhi Assembly constituency.

Importantly, from the day Pathak’s name was announced, the four time MLA Kedarnath Shukla turned out to be a rebel and announced that the BJP will witness huge defeat this time from Sidhi.

Shukla is also considered close to senior Congress leader and former LoP Ajay Singh (Rahul).

According to the sources, Shukla was trying to get a ticket from the Congress, however, due to pee-gate controversy, the state leadership of the grand-old-party feared resentment in tribal voters.

Notably, Pravesh Shukla, who had urinated on tribal man Dashmat Rawat’s face, was Kedarnath Shukla’s representative.

Another BJP MLA from Maihar Assembly seats of Vindhya region – Narayan Tripathi has resigned from the party’s primary membership on Friday.

The development came after the party denied him a ticket from Maihar.

Narayan Tripathi, as per the sources, is likely to get a ticket from Congress.

The Congress was also witnessing factionalism in the Vindhya region, as the senior party leaders were lobbying to get tickets for the candidates of their loyalists.

For instance, Siddharth Tiwari, the grandson of former speaker (late) Sriniwas Tiwari, who was preparing for the election from Teonthar seat of Rewa, removed the word ‘INC’ from his social media handle.

His supporters alleged that Siddharth was preparing for the election from Tenothar after getting approval from the top leadership from the state Congress leadership; however, he was denied ticket at the last moment.

In protest, many of his supporters have resigned from the Congress’ primary membership.

His supporters blamed Ajay Singh (Rahul) for denying him a ticket from Teonthar. However, Siddharth was still making an effort to speak to the central leadership of the Congress.

Sources also said that disappointed over being sidelined, Siddharth was planning to join the BJP. However, Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh convinced him against it.

Notably, Siddharth’s father Sundarlal Tiwari (son of Srinwas Tiwari) was also a Lok Sabha Member from the Congress.

Since the Tiwari family has a strong hold in Rewa’s politics especially among Brahmin voters, they were setting a narrative that denying a ticket to Siddharth may cost the Congress at least 5000-10000 Brahmin votes in all eight seats of Rewa district.

In the 2018 Assembly polls, the BJP had won 24 seats from Vindhya region along with all eight seats from Rewa.

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