Bhopal: Rajya Sabha elections for three seats in Madhya Pradesh are to be held on June 19 in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congress has fielded Digvijay Singh and Phul Singh Baraiya, while Bharatiya Janata Party’s Jyotiradiya Scindia and Sumer Singh Solanki are in the fray.
The ruling BJP has claimed that it has the support of MLAs from Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, and several Independent MLAs. Seven such MLAs reportedly even attended a dinner hosted for BJP legislators at the party office on Wednesday. Independent MLAs Surendra Singh Shera and Vikram Singh Rana, two BSP MLAs namely Sanjiv Singh Kushwaha, Rambai Prajapati, and SP MLAs Rajesh Shukla had reportedly gone to the BJP office along with state Home Minister Narottam Mishra. These legislators had supported the Congress government in the past.
Meanwhile, Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar, Narendra Singh Tomar, Vinay Shahasrabuddhe, in-charge of state unit, and observer Vijayant Panda reached Bhopal on Wednesday. The party's central leadership is closely watching the Rajya Sabha polls.
Following the resignation of 22 MLAs and the death of two other legislators, the 230-seat State Assembly has shrunk to 206. The ruling party has 107 MLAs, while the Congress has 92 legislators. In the Rajya Sabha polls, a candidate needs 52 votes to win. Going by the number of members in the House, the BJP is all set to win two of the three seats.
However, seven MLAs of the Congress party were missing from a meeting called to discuss Rajya Sabha elections at former chief minister Kamal Nath's residence on Wednesday. State Congress General Secretary Rajiv Singh said that four MLAs—KP Singh, Laimian Singh, Ravi Joshi and Hina Kanwre—had taken permission to be exempted fom the Wednesday's meeting. They will attend the meeting on Thursday.
Sources informed NewsClick that while MLA Kunal Choudhary was in a hospital due to Covid-19 infection, the reason behind the absence of Veer Singh Bhiria, Bal Singh Meda could not be ascertained.
While addressing the meeting, Nath and Digvijaya Singh reportedly said they have to win at least two seats. The AICC general secretary Mukul Vasnik, according to sources, said that BJP had taken over the government by unfair means and they all will “contest against the injustice”.
Congress leaders have been claiming that some legislators from the BJP are in contact with them. Whether there’s any truth to the claim, remains to be seen.
The Election Commission of India has permitted those MLAs who are not able to come to Vidhan Sabha to cast their votes for the Rajya Sabha elections to vote using postal ballots.
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