BHOPAL: Yet another BJP veteran has turned a rebel in Madhya Pradesh.
Hurt by denial of ticket from Shahdol-ST seat – which he has won thrice – Gyan Singh the 65-year-old tribal strongman of the BJP has announced to contest Lok Sabha polls from the same seat as an independent.
A former MP minister Singh has announced to contest from Shahdol as independent, particularly hurt over denial of ticket to him by the party, which has instead fielded 31-year-old Himadri Singh (daughter of ex-union minister Dalbir Singh and ex-Congress MP Rajesh Nandini Singh) who lost to Gyan Singh only in 2016 by-election by 60,000 votes.
“Whenever the party asked me to contest the polls from Shahdol, I immediately accepted the directions and won the seat for the BJP not once but thrice. Even in 1996 when ex-union minister Dalbir Singh (Himadri Singh) was at his peak, I fought against him on party’s direction and won the seat. Now the party has fielded Dalbir Singh’s daughter Himadri Singh, who is an aero plane candidate. How will the BJP workers forget the harsh words used by Himadri against BJP leaders in the 2016 by-election,” said Singh in Shahdol on Wednesday.
While maintaining that he has no choice but to contest as an independent, Singh, who has also won five assembly polls in the past said “I’ve been getting phone calls from various assembly segments, including Anuppur, Bandhavgarh, Pushprajgarh and Manpur. Party workers aren’t ready to accept turncoat Himadri as their candidate and want me to contest as independent, which is why I’ve taken this painful decision. I can’t work for Himdari or her husband Narendra Marawi (a BJP leader), who backstabbed me,” said Singh the winner from Shahdol in 1996, 1998 and 2016.
Efforts by BJP candidate Himadri Singh and husband Narendra Marawi to pacify Gyan Singh at his house in Umaria district turned futile on Tuesday, as he refused to meet the couple.
After this development, not one but four BJP veterans have rebelled against the party in last six months. While five-time ex-MP from Hoshangabad and former union minister Sartaj Singh and five-time former MP from Damoh and Khajuraho seat Ramkrishna Kusmaria have already joined Congress, two others, including five-time former MP and present Morena mayor Ashok Argal announced on Tuesday quitting the party, while the sitting MP from Shahdol seat Gyan Singh too has now turned rebellious.
Importantly, the MP High Court had recently nullified the 2016 by-election win of Gyan Singh from Shahdol seat on a petition filed by an independent candidate whose nomination was rejected in 2016 by Returning Officer on Singh’s objection. Singh, however, got a stay from the HC on the order within a few minutes for challenging the order in the Supreme Court.
The Shahdol Lok Sabha seat spread in eight assembly segments of Shahdol, Katni, Umaria and Anuppur districts goes to poll in the first phase on April 29. Two turncoat women politicians, Himadri Singh who recently joined BJP after quitting Congress will battle out with ex-BJP MLA Pramila Singh (who joined Congress before 2018 assembly polls) for Shahdol seat.