Congress Leaders Join BJP
In a significant political development, over 300 Congress leaders have crossed party lines to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh, reported The Indian Express on Monday.
The BJP’s Madhya Pradesh unit announced the defections via a social media post, highlighting prominent figures such as Congress district chief in Vidisha, Rakesh Katare, and former Congress MLA from Tikamgarh, Dinesh Ahirwar, among those who switched allegiance in Bhopal. Additionally, leaders from Vidisha, including former Chhatarpur mandi vice president Kailash Dwivedi and Gaurihar Janpad president Tulsi Anuragi, joined the BJP ranks.
According to BJP sources, the leaders cited their admiration for the state government’s public welfare schemes and the party’s policies as reasons for their defection. In Gwalior, the BJP’s numbers swelled as five sitting Congress councillors and district Youth Congress president Ajay Pal Yadav moved to the ruling party, increasing the BJP’s tally in the Gwalior Municipal Corporation to 41.
Abhay Chaudhary, BJP Gwalior (urban) district president, remarked to The Indian Express, “Congress leaders have grown weary of the lack of leadership as the party is gripped with infighting and Digvijaya Singh has no impact in the region now. They have confidence in Maharaj [Scindia]. Many senior leaders also want to join us.”
Following the influx of defections, BJP state unit chief VD Sharma characterized the Congress as being “in disarray” while asserting that the BJP’s influence was on a steady rise.
भाजपा प्रदेश कार्यालय, भोपाल में वरिष्ठ नेताओं की उपस्थिति में कांग्रेस के विदिशा जिला अध्यक्ष श्री राकेश कटारे, टीकमगढ़ के पूर्व कांग्रेस विधायक श्री दिनेश अहिरवार समेत अन्य कांग्रेस नेता व कार्यकर्ताओं ने भाजपा सरकार की जनहितैषी योजनाओं एवं संगठन की राीति-नीति से प्रभावित होकर… pic.twitter.com/QI55JsmxBz
— BJP Madhya Pradesh (@BJP4MP) February 12, 2024
However, some defectors cited specific grievances within the Congress as motivating factors for their switch. Katare expressed his dissatisfaction with the Congress’s decision to decline an invitation to the Ram temple inauguration in Ayodhya, stating, “I was unhappy about the Congress rejecting the invitation for the Ram temple inauguration in Ayodhya.”
The Congress’s refusal to attend the January 22 inauguration, labeling it as a “clearly an RSS-BJP event,” has stirred controversy within the party. Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh had explained that senior leaders respectfully declined the invitation in adherence to the 2019 Supreme Court judgment and out of respect for the sentiments of millions who revere the Hindu deity.
The discontent over the handling of the Ram temple event has led to further defections. Jabalpur Mayor Jagat Singh Annu resigned from the Congress to join the BJP, citing dissatisfaction with the party’s leadership. Similarly, in Guna, Congress leader Sumer Singh shifted allegiance to the BJP, echoing concerns over the party’s stance on the Ram temple issue.
“I have always been with the Congress,” Singh stated. “I left the party as I was angry over the way it dealt with the Ram mandir [temple] event. He is our god and we express our love to him. I cannot be with a party that disrespects Ram. We cannot accept it.”
The wave of defections underscores the volatile political landscape in Madhya Pradesh, with the BJP consolidating its position while the Congress faces internal strife and dissent over key ideological issues.
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