Madhya Pradesh minister Govind Singh Rajput voiced this demand when he met the state BJP president in Bhopal. Similar representations have been made to CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan as well.
Politics in Madhya Pradesh has seen a fresh twist before Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan undertakes an exercise to expand his over a month-old cabinet. The past few days have seen supporters of newly-inducted Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia converge at the capital city of Bhopal, mounting pressure on the party to appoint him as a minister at the Centre.
Local media reports that MLAs supporting Jyotiraditya Scindia have flocked BJP functionaries over the past two days to communicate to them their wish that Scindia is inducted into the central cabinet. Prominent among them is former Congress MLA Govind Singh Rajput who currently serves as a minister in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet and was among those who joined the party along with Scindia.
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Rajput reportedly met BJP state president VD Sharma and communicated to him the wish of the party MLAs regarding Scindia’s candidature for a central berth. He later confirmed that this wish has been communicated to the state BJP leadership, although their priority is to ensure victory in the bypolls to the 24 assembly seats that fell vacant after MLAs defected from the Congress and resigned.
Former Union minister Imarti Devi, who met the state BJP president along with Rajput, also called on CM Chouhan. While maintaining that the meeting was just a courtesy visit, she did say that there is a strong wish in favour of Scindia’s induction into the central cabinet. However, the final decision would rest with the Centre.
Regardless of the pressure tactics by Scindia’s supporters, the going may not be that easy for the leader after all. Union Tourism minister Prahlad Patel has reacted strongly to the remarks by Rajput, saying that the BJP does not follow this culture. Patel, speaking to reporters in Gwalior, said that Rajput’s wishes will surely be communicated to the central leadership. “However, this is not the culture here (BJP),” he added, suggesting that the Congress rebels need to get the message that the BJP does not function like the Congress.
Notably, Scindia had shifted loyalties to the BJP along with his supporters earlier this year, resulting in the fall of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in the state. Shivraj SIngh Chouhan, who returned at the helm for the fourth term, has his hands full. Besides the coronavirus crisis which has hit MP hard, the CM also needs to ensure victory in the upcoming byelections to the 24 assembly seats.