Madhya Pradesh Assembly bypolls: Jyotiraditya Scindia hits campaign trail, says battle between Chouhan-Scindia and Nath-Digvijaya

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Updated: Jul 07, 2020 9:58 AM

Madhya Pradesh Bypolls: Jyotiraditya Scindia has asked BJP workers to frame the campaign as a fight between Chouhan and Scindia on one side and Congress’s Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh on the other.

Jyotiraditya Scindia hits campaign trail in Madhya Pradesh ahead of bypolls to 24 vacant seats. (File)

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Jyotiraditya Scindia has hit the ground running for the upcoming by-election to 24 vacant seats in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly. Having crossed the first hurdle by securing 40% of the cabinet berths in the latest round of expansion, Scindia knows the outcome of the bypolls will be instrumental in cementing his place in the power set-up in the BJP and is willing to leave no stone unturned.

While the schedule for the elections is yet to be announced, Scindia has already started campaigning. On Monday, he addressed his first virtual rally in Mungaoli and Bamori. Speaking to the party workers, Scindia asked them to frame the campaign as a fight between Chouhan and Scindia on one side and Congress’s Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh on the other.

“You should ask voters which pair they would choose: Chouhan and Scindia, or Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh.

“Ye aar ya paar ki ladai hai (this is a do or die battle),” the former Congress leader said.

“How can they call us traitors,” he asked while referring to Congress’ remarks against MLAs who had resigned to bring down the previous Kamal Nath government, and went on to call the resignations of 22 then-Congress MLAs as an “act of sacrifice”.

“They are desperate without power and are concerned because they can’t make money,” he said without naming any of the Congress leaders.

At one point, Jyotiraditya Scindia even described the Congress leaders as the “Kauravas”.

Of the 24 vacant seats, the BJP needs to win at least 9 seats to gain the magic numbers of 116 on its own in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly. The BJP has currently 107 MLAs, while the Congress has 92. The BJP claims to enjoy the support of 7 more MLAs.

Of the 24 seats that go to polls, 16 fall in the Gwalior region which is considered as Scindia’s bastion. Bypolls were necessitated after the resignation of 22 Congress MLAs in March and the demise of two more MLAs.

As per the rule, bypolls are to be conducted within six months of the Assembly seats falling vacant. In this case, the six months deadline ends on September 10.

The 24 seats where polls are to be held include Jaura (Morena), Sumawali (Morena), Morena, Dimni (Morena), Ambah (Morena), Mehgaon (Bhind), Gohad (Bhind), Gwalior, Gwalior East, Dabra (Gwalior), Bhander (Gwalior), Karaira (Shivpuri), Ratkheda (Shivpuri), Bamori (Guna), Ashok Nagar, Mungawali (Ashok Nagar), Surkhi (Sagar), Byohari (Sahdol), Anuppur, Agar, Harpiplaya (Dewas), Sanwer (Indore), Sanchi (Vidisha), Suwasara (Mandsaur).

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