BHOPAL: The assembly by-elections to 24 seats in Madhya Pradesh will not be a direct fight between the ruling BJP and the principal opposition Congress. Instead it will be triangular fight on all 24 seats spread in Gwalior-Chambal, Bundelkhand and Malwa-Nimar region.
The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Thursday announced that it will be contesting in ll the 24 seats which will go to by-polls in a few months time.
According to state BSP president Er Ramakant Pippal, the national BSP president and ex-UP CM Mayawati has decided that the party won't align with any other party, but instead contest all 24 seats on its own in the by-elections in MP.
In the coming weeks, those interested in contesting the by-polls will fill the application forms based on which list of possible candidates will be sent to the BSP national president.
“The BSP has already started working on the ground zero for preparing for the crucial 24 by-elections,” Pippal said.
Importantly, the BSP which hadn’t aligned with any party in the 2018 MP Assembly polls, had won two seats, including Sanjeev Kushwah ‘Sanju’ (Bhind) and Rambai Thakur (Pathariya-Damoh). Out of the two MLAs, Rambai Thakur was suspended from the party in December 2019 for going against party’s official line by publicly supporting the BJP on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Out of the 24 assembly by-polls, 16 will happen in the Gwalior-Chambal region, where the BSP has a significant presence due to large chunk of Dalit voters.
The BJP and Congress have already started preparing for the by-elections, whose dates are yet to be announced by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
While the by-polls on two seats (Agar-SC) in Agar-Malwa district and Joura seat of Morena district have been necessitated by the death of the sitting BJP and Congress MLAs respectively, the by-elections to 22 other seats have been caused following 22 Congress MLAs of the Jyotiraditya Scindia camp, including six former ministers, quitting assembly membership in March this year.
The en masse resignations by the 22 Scindia loyalists from the Vidhan Sabha and Congress, had led to the fall of the 15-month-old Kamal Nath led Congress government in the state on March 20. Subsequently, the BJP led by three-time CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan had returned to power in the state.
Scindia and his loyalists are now with the BJP and possibly all these former MLAs will contest the by-poll as BJP candidates.