Bhopal: Unfreezing of liquor sales, rumours about Ministry expansion, phased relaxation of lockdown, opening of markets and grain procurement from farmers — everything points to ensuing electoral tumult in Madhya Pradesh.
Elections to three Rajya Sabha seats, put off in April, are likely to be rescheduled for June. Then by-elections to 24 Assembly seats, unprecedented in the state's 64-year history, are to be held by October. The by-elections have been caused by death of two MLAs and switching of loyalties by 22 legislators to bring down the Kamal Nath-headed Congress government.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, who led the rebels into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), needs to be elected to Parliament to be a minister at the Centre. That was said to be the deal for pulling the Congress government down.
Prem Chand Guddu, a senior Dalit leader from the Malwa region, re-joined the Congress on Sunday after an 18-month sojourn in the BJP. It's being seen as the Congress' first salvo in preparation for by-election to the Sanwer seat near Indore.
Tulsiram Silawat, Irrigation Minister and a staunch Scindia supporter, represented Sanwer before switching to BJP in March. Silawat was the Health Minister in the Nath government. Scindia wants him to be the Deputy Chief Minister.
Guddu's return to the Congress will lend immense interest to the Sanwer battle. He represented Sanwer earlier and was sidelined under Scindia's pressure. Guddu was also a member of the Lok Sabha from Ujjain. He also represented the Alot seat in the Assembly. Guddu and his son Ajit Baurasi were admitted to the Congress with fanfare in the presence of former Speaker N.P. Prajapati and former Minister Sajjan Singh Verma.
Guddu said he had left the Congress and joined the BJP due to sustained victimisation by Scindia, who was keen to promote his faction. The father-son duo had been making appropriate noises against the BJP to hint at return to the Congress. Guddu had slammed Scindia while Ajit opposed the new Citizenship Act. (IANS)