“26 out of 28 Congress ministers in MP are my friends, but BJP will continue to be my home': Sanjay Pathak
Speculations have been rife about his crossover to his old party Congress, in the wake of two other saffron party MLAs, Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol voting along with the ruling party.
BHOPAL: Mining baron-turned-richest MLA of Madhya Pradesh, the BJP legislator Sanjay Satyendra Pathak put to rest on Thursday speculations about the possibility of him joining Congress.
"26 out of 28 present Congress ministers in MP are my friends, but BJP will continue to be my home," said Pathak.
Speculations have been rife about his crossover to his old party Congress, in the wake of two other saffron party MLAs, Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol voting along with the ruling party and ally legislators on an amendment bill in the Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday evening.
The four-time BJP legislator from Vijayraghogarh constituency of Katni district, who owns assets worth Rs 216 crores-plus said, “Everyone knows that my father Satyendra Pathak was not only a Congress MLA in 1993 and 1998, but also a cabinet minister in the erstwhile Digvijaya Singh government in MP, besides holding key organizational positions in the MP Congress unit. I keep on meeting present Congress MLAs and ministers, as many of the young ones have been my childhood and young day friends. At least 26 out of the 28 cabinet ministers of the present Congress government share personal bonding with me,” said Pathak on Thursday.
“I certainly have a Congress family background, owing to which there are often rumours about me joining the Congress. But let me assure you, my home now is the BJP, where I’m going to stay. Since 26 out of 28 ministers of present Congress government are known to me, hence they keep on making offers to me to return to Congress fold. But for me BJP will continue to be my home,” said Pathak.
Importantly, just like his ex-MP minister father Satyendra Pathak, the present BJP MLA Sanjay Pathak won from father’s pocket-borough Vijayraghogarh in 2008 and 2013 as Congress candidate but quit the grand old party to join the BJP in 2014.
He was re-elected in the by-election thereafter as BJP candidate and also won from the same seat on BJP ticket for the fourth time in 2018.
He was also a minister of state in the former Shivraj Singh Chouhan government and was among the Congressmen who joined the BJP during the Chouhan government, just like Narayan Tripathi (Maihar) and Sharad Kol (Beohari seat) – both of whom voted with Congress MLAs in the Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday evening.
Pathak, however, had a word of advice for his former party, the Congress, on the issue of voting on the criminal procedure code (MP Amendment Bill) on Wednesday evening.
“When the BJP and Congress, both were in favour of passing the bill unanimously with a voice vote, the Congress shouldn’t have backed the BSP MLA Sanjiv Singh’s demand for division of votes on the passage of the bill,” said Pathak.
On Thursday, Pathak’s visit to State Secretariat in Bhopal to meet a minister of Congress government triggered speculations about him having met Chief Minister Kamal Nath, but he denied a meeting with the CM.
Since the Wednesday’s evening development in the Vidhan Sabha, speculations about Sanjay Pathak and two other BJP MLAs, Sudesh Rai (Sehore) and Dinesh Rai ‘Munmun’ (Seoni) – both independent MLAs between 2013 and 2018, but having won the 2018 polls as BJP MLAs – joining the Congress are doing rounds of political circles in MP.