BHOPAL: Amid the deepening political crisis in Madhya Pradesh, former chief minister Digvijaya Singh filed nomination for March 26 Rajya Sabha elections as Congress candidate in Bhopal on Thursday.
Accompanied by wife Amrita Rai Singh and legal eagle and Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha, Singh (whose term as incumbent member of the upper house of Parliament ends next month) filed the nomination as Congress candidate for the March 26 biennial RS polls to three seats of MP.
While the septuagenarian leader filed nomination for one of the seats, the Congress is yet to finalise its second candidate, despite Friday being the last day for filing nomination for the March 26 elections.
On the other hand, BJP has declared two candidates for the same election. While ex-union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia was declared the saffron party’s nominee from MP just a few hours after he joined the BJP on Wednesday, the party played tribal card by declaring Dr Sumer Singh Solanki as the second candidate on Thursday.
Solanki, an Assistant Professor of History at a government college in Barwani district is the nephew of Makhansing Solanki, the former BJP Lok Sabha member from Khargone seat.
Dr Solanki, who has long been associated with RSS and associated organizations, has been fielded by the party in RS polls, largely to check the growing influence of tribal outfit Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti (JAYS) – whose founder member is a Congress MLA – in the tribal dominated districts of Malwa-Nimar region.
The March 26 biennial polls for three Rajya Sabha seats is happening as all three seats presently held by Digvijaya Singh (Congress), Prabhat Jha and Satyanarayan Jatiya (BJP) will turn vacant next month.
As per the present 228 total strength of the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, any candidate who gets 58 first preference votes will win the biennial polls. Earlier, the Congress was set to win two of the three seats.
But with 22 Congress MLAs having sent their resignations to the Speaker (resignations yet to be accepted), the BJP could have the upper hand in the polls.
In the 230 members Vidhan Sabha (present strength 228 due to death of two MLAs), the Congress has 114 MLAs and enjoys the support of 7 allied MLAs.
If the figure stands intact on March 26 poll day, Congress could easily win two seats with 58 votes each.
But if the House strength shrinks to 206 (following acceptance of the 22 rebel MLAs resignations) and Congress and allies strength declines to 99, the BJP with 107 members in the House will get two Rajya Sabha seats and Congress will have to be content with just one seat.
Digvijaya asks BJP to make Scindia the next MP CM
Taking a dig at the BJP, the ex-CM Digvijaya Singh said now that Jyotiraditya Scindia has joined BJP, then the saffron party should form the next government with Scindia as the CM.
“Among Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Jyotiraditya Scindia, the latter is definitely more competent, so the BJP which is conspiring to topple the Kamal Nath government, should make Scindia the CM, after staking claim for forming the new government in the state,” said Singh.
Singh also accused BJP of holding the rebel Congress MLAs captive in Bengaluru and exuded confidence that Congress government will win the floor test, whenever it’s decided by the Vidhan Sabha Speaker. The Budget Session of Vidhan Sabha begins on March 16.
Singh’s statements came a day after former MP minister and BJP MLA Yashodhara Raje Scindia (who is Jyotiraditya Scindia’s aunt) had claimed that the next BJP government in the state will be headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan.