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The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald
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June 12, 2016

Tankha’s win to Rajya Sabha revives Congress in Madhya Pradesh, BJP strategy questioned by a section of senior BJP leaders

Special Correspondent
BHOPAL: Results for three Rajya Sabha seats from Madhya Pradesh- two to the ruling BJP and one to the Congress has given life to the otherwise dormant Congress. At the same time several BJP leaders have expressed concern over increasing interference of the central leadership in state.

Anil Madhav Dave and MJ Akbar of the BJP and Vivek Tankha from Congress have been elected for the upper house from Madhya Pradesh.  

Congratulating renowned lawyer and Congress candidate Vivek Tankha, Congress state president, Arun Yadav said that the results have proved that Congress and BSP MLAs stick to their ideology and are not out for sale.

Senior Congress leader wishing not to be quoted said that Kamalnath has emerged as a bigger leader in the whole episode. “It was Kamalnath who got letter of support from BSP Supremo Mayawati,” said the leader. Four BSP MLAs played crucial role in Tankha’s win, who had support of 57 Congress MLAs and was falling short of one vote.

On the other hand, Vivek Tankha too came armed with a strategy and camped in Bhopal for more than four days. It was Tankha’s legal team that worked on a strategy and managed bail for MLA Ramesh Patel who was arrested on rape charges and was in jail for past four months.

BJP also opposed leader of Opposition, Satyadev Katare’s postal ballot. Katare is undergoing treatment in Mumbai. Tankha’s legal team fought hard to restore Katare’s voting rights- which otherwise would have been difficult. Congress was also successful in barring BJP MLA Rajendra Meshram from voting.

Apart from this other senior leaders like Digvijay Singh, Suresh Pachauri, Jyotiraditya Scindia stay put in the state capital and put up a united show after a long time.

On the other hand, BJP disowned its general secretary and independent candidate Vinod Gothia, once it smelled the defeat. Tankha shares good rapport with CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and it is understood that Chouhan did not want BJP to contest for the third seat. BJP required 10 votes for Gothia while Tankha required only 1 vote for his win.

Sources in the BJP said that whole episode was controlled by the central unit of the BJP and that the state unit was simply following the orders. Sources say that CM tried to convince the central leadership that contesting for the third Rajya Sabha seat may cause a dent in BJP’s (read Shivraj’s) image as chances are too bleak to win it.

However, BJP’s central unit did not budge and the party had to face a humiliating defeat at the hands of Congress. Till now BJP had won all the by-elections held in the state and bore an invincible image which has now been dented, if not shattered.



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