BHOPAL — A powerful BJP Brahmin leader has switched over to Congress ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh.
As part of its poll strategy, the grand-old party continues to poach and corner the loyalists of Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh.
The latest move has been aimed at Scindia loyalist Govind Singh Rajput — one among the 22 MLAs who had switched over to the BJP in March 2020.
Giving a tough competition to Rajput in his Assembly constituency – Surkhi in Sagar district, the Congress on Thursday pitted one of the most powerful local Brahmin leaders Neeraj Sharma.
Sharma, a wealthy contractor and private bus operator in addition to being a big farmer, reportedly led the motorcade of over 1000 vehicles from his hometown Rahatgarh to Bhopal (around 120 km), before joining the Congress at the state party headquarters.
Just a few hours before Sharma joined the Congress, the Rahatgarh police in Sagar district, lodged a case u/s 353 and 186 IPC (assaulting or using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging duty) against him and his supporters on Wednesday night on the complaint of RTO-Sagar.
Interestingly, Sharma was in the Congress only till 2009, but owing to growing dominance of Rajput, he joined the BJP and won the Rahatgarh Janpad Panchayat chief polls in 2010 as well as Rahatgarh Nagar Palika polls later.
In the 2010 Rahatgarh Janpad Panchayat polls, Sharma defeated Govind Singh Rajput’s elder brother Gulab Singh Rajput.
Notably, Govind Singh Rajput who had won Surkhi seat in 2003, 2008 and 2018 as Congress candidate, retained the seat in November 2020 as BJP candidate.
He is the only Scindia loyalist minister in the present BJP government in MP, who holds the same portfolios (revenue and transport) which he held in the previous Kamal Nath government.
Congress also managed to dent one of the oldest BJP families of Satna district of Vindhya region, by taking into fold Devraj Bagri and Vandana Bagri — the son and daughter-in-law of five times former BJP MLA Late Jugul Kishor Bagri. — IANS