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Scindia revolt costs Cong a state, RS berth

Scindia revolt costs Cong a state, RS berth

The rebellion by former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia has not only brought down the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh as the resignations of 22 legislators — most of them Scindia's loyalists — are now also set to cost the oldest national party a berth in the Rajya Sabha that it was poised to win.

Polling for three Rajya Sabha seats from MP will be held on March 26.

Before the political upheaval began, 58 first preference votes were required for each seat. The Congress had 114 members and was banking on support from seven Independent, SP and BSP MLAs who were backing the government.

The BJP had only 107 and could have won only one seat. However, when Speaker N P Prajapati accepted 16 resignations on the eve of the Supreme Court-mandated trust vote, the effective strength of the Assembly was reduced to 206. The resignation of BJP MLA Sharad Kol has been disputed but will have no bearing on the outcome.

According to the revised calculation, it will now take 52 first preference votes for each seat. Irrespective of the outcome of the dispute over Kol's resignation, the BJP has more than 104 members needed to win two seats.

The Speaker said Kol had resigned but the latter claimed that he sent another letter requesting not to accept the resignation. A BJP delegation called on Governor Lalji Tandon to seek his intervention in the dispute.

While Scindia was poised to win, the new arithmetic has come as a boon for RSS activist and former assistant professor Dr Sumer Singh Solanki (44), whose name did not ring a bell when his candidature was announced by the BJP on March 12.

Solanki taught history at a government college in Barwani.

Congress candidate Phool Singh Baraiya had raised an objection that Solanki was technically in government service when he filed his nomination on March 13 because his resignation was accepted a day later. The objection was overruled by the returning officer on the ground that he was not in government service on the day of scrutiny of his nomination papers.

But Solanki, a Barela tribal, faced the wrath of tribal organisations in Barwani and nearby districts because his bio-data called these outfits "anti-nationals". His bio-data circulated by the BJP listed the works he did to promote "nationalist ideology in tribal areas".

"He formed groups of 'ideological warriors' at district, tehsil and college levels to stop the anti-national activities in Jhabua, Alirajpur, Dhar, Barwani and Khargone districts. Many youngsters were saved from negative and misguiding activities," reads the bio-data naming Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti (JAYS), Adivasi Mukti Sangathan and Narmada Bachao Andolan, among other groups.

JAYS founder Hiralal Alawa is the Congress legislator from Manawar in Dhar district.

(Inputs and image from theindianexpress.com)

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